14 June 2015
Good feedback so far for National Jobs Bank
Imelda Saad

SINGAPORE: The National Jobs Bank, that was launched last year, was created primarily to support the Fair Consideration Framework, which took effect August 2014.

Provisions under the framework stipulate that employers must put up placement ads on the Jobs Bank portal for 14 days, to look for a suitable Singaporean candidate, before hiring a foreigner on Employment Pass.

The requirement has not been too onerous on businesses and employers say the transition has been relatively smooth. In the tight labour market, the Jobs Bank has also helped to connect businesses with locals.

"It is a challenge to find local employees the last few years because of the full employment level that we have in the market," said Association of Small and Medium Enterprises president Kurt Wee. "But I think it has made the connecting distance between the potential employee and employer shorter and more direct."

Local professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) say the Jobs Banks is a convenient one-stop site for their job search.

The Workforce Development Agency (WDA), which administers the Jobs Bank, says as of end May 2015, some 19,000 employers and 104,000 individuals have registered as Jobs Bank users.

In the same month, some 70,000 job vacancies were posted each week. As the portal is opened to any employers who register, there is no way of telling if all the jobs posted are PME jobs.

Employers who are seeking to place people on jobs not subjected to the Fair Consideration Framework, would also put up ads in the portal, because they know Singaporeans are looking at it.

Therefore, the labour movement is asking for more clarity on the type of jobs posted, for example, by making it mandatory for employers to indicate the salary range of jobs advertised.

"If salary ranges are being shared then it will give a better proxy to the potential applicant on where he or she stands and also the kind of positions available," said NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Patrick Tay.

He added that data from the portal can also be analysed to better help local PME job-seekers.

"With the National Jobs Bank, as many as 60,000-70,000 positions are advertised," said Mr Tay. "I'm sure that data, if mined and analysed, can come in very useful to allow various industries and sectors to find out where the job requirements are, the competency required, the experience required, skills required and see what's lacking so that we can better plug the gap and fill those positions with Singaporean PMEs."

It is understood that the WDA is reviewing the Jobs Bank and is looking at ways to improve the portal as well as ways to mine the available data. Details on this will be announced soon.

- CNA/ec

Link: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/good-feedback-so-far-for/1913898.html