Employers Race To Fill Digital-Savvy Roles in Singapore

Image credit: iStockphoto/alphaspirit

A survey by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) shows a strong and growing demand for employees adept in digital technology according to a survey of employers conducted by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) between last November and this January.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced the results on Friday (April 1), showing information technology (IT) and multimedia development roles as among Singapore's top 10 professional, managerial, executive, and technician (PMET) jobs. The positions are highly sought after due to digital technologies' pivotal role in today's economy.

Software, web, and multimedia developers ranked second among the jobs most in demand, with more than 1,600 job vacancies available.

Systems analysts ranked fourth in the fastest-growing digital technology jobs, with openings for network, communications, and infrastructure managers expected to increase by more than 20 percent from 2016 to 2021.

"These vacancies typically require the incumbent to possess knowledge of programming languages... and common software development processes to understand, design, monitor, and improve technical systems," said MOM.

Employers in Singapore are racing to fill positions such as developers, offering a minimum monthly salary of SGD5,000.

Non-PMET job vacancies in the second quarter of 2021 showed that the construction sector was the most sought-after due to the government's tightened control over migrant worker inflows, which affected industries such as manufacturing.

The rise in e-commerce has created a high demand for workers in occupations related to shipping and transport, specifically heavy truck drivers (8th), car and light goods vehicle drivers (11th), and transport clerks (37th).

Why Singapore's job vacancies are hard to fill

Despite the salary increase to allure potential employees, a whopping 79% of non-PMET positions remained unfilled for at least six months in 2021, with the majority of the job vacancies coming from Manufacturing, Construction, Food & Beverage Services, Cleaning & Landscaping, and the trade-related sectors of Transportation & Storage and Wholesale & Retail Trade.

The report revealed that in these vacant non-PMET positions, employers usually indicated reasons such as physically strenuous job nature, unattractive pay, and poor working conditions.

The Singaporean government has set up several schemes to help companies improve their pay and conditions to make work more attractive for employees. These schemes include the Support for Job Redesign under the Productivity Solutions Grant. To help eligible enterprises grow, the Singaporean Government will provide up to 70% funding for consultancy services, capped at SGD30,000 per enterprise.

But for PMET job vacancies, the difficulty lies in finding the right candidate for the job, with increased competition from other employers.

Manpower Minister Tan See Leng said: "For PMET roles that were more difficult to fill, companies share this was mainly due to a shortage of candidates with the necessary skill sets and work experience, and competition from prospective employers."

He added: " I would exhort all employers to try to accord more resources to do this in terms of upskilling, and for prospective employers to adopt a 'plug-train-play' mindset when hiring through the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme as well as the Career Conversion Programme."

Image credit: iStockphoto/alphaspirit