Unemployed & worried that companies won’t hire you? This programme will help you
Employees win, companies win, everybody win.
I have a friend who’s been out of job for nearly a year. She recently shared with me that she’s feeling increasingly anxious about being hired because the longer she stays unemployed, the less likely potential companies would want to employ her.
While her concern isn’t unfounded, there’s actually a government programme that specifically helps people who have been unemployed and actively looking for jobs for six months or more.
Administered by Workforce Singapore (WSG), Career Support Programme (CSP) is a salary support programme that helps fund a large part of an employee’s pay if he/she is qualified.
Sounds a bit too good to be true? It’s real.
But of course, there are criteria both the employee and employer have to meet in order to qualify.
Read on to find out how Jo Jit (JJ) managed to find a stable job again after being unemployed for a long while.
Leaving his previous job
Previously an IT Consultant at a startup, JJ reveals that he decided to leave due to disagreements with his employers. The 39-year-old explains, “I didn’t agree with the new direction the company was moving towards. Moreover, I wanted to use the time to complete a novel I was writing.”
So in September 2016, JJ quit his job and decided to dedicate the next few months to finishing and launching his book.
When book sales didn’t go as well as planned, JJ went back to looking for a job in the IT industry. Unfortunately, most companies he applied to didn’t get back to him.
Uncertain job market
JJ talks about the uncertain job market at that time, “Generally, employers are wary of jobseekers who have been out of jobs for more than three months, especially those in the IT industry, or those who specialise in certain skills. They feel that the longer you stay out of touch with the skill, the more likely you are to be rusty at it.”
JJ’s stroke of luck came when Select Group invited him down for an interview, and eventually hired him for the position of IT Manager.
Dynn Seah, Assistant HR Manager, says, “We decided to hire JJ because we liked his humble and positive attitude. We also value the 15 years of experience he’s had in the IT industry.”
“I really like the environment here at Select Group. There’s a greater connection between the upper management and the staff. I’m involved in many meetings and exposed to many aspects of the company’s business operations. The extensive interactions to me are opportunities to familiarise myself with business operations and this helped me greatly in terms of tackling current and future challenges to this company,” JJ speaks of his time at Select Group.
Career Support Programme
After being informed about the Career Support Programme (CSP), Dynn from Select Group decided to tap on it to support the hiring of JJ. “It was a bonus to our company as part of JJ’s salary is co-funded,” Dynn says.
According to the WSG website for CSP, SMEs can receive up to a cap of $42,000 in salary support for 18 months.
For some companies, this helps to close the gap between the wage expectations of potential hires and what they can afford.
Dynn adds, “CSP encourages companies to consider a wider pool of candidates who might be potential talents with relevant experience but neglected due to circumstances.”
This is true, especially for people who possess a specific set of skills like graphic designing or web developing. Because companies generally prefer candidates who have a shorter unemployment period, this puts long-term unemployed individuals at a disadvantage.
And the more companies shun them, the longer they stay unemployed.
How to qualify
If you’re a jobseeker, you’d have to be a Singaporean Citizen who has been unemployed for six months or more (but actively looking for jobs during that time) in order to qualify for CSP.
If you’re an employer, your company would have to be registered or incorporated in Singapore in order to qualify. Additionally, the eligible PMET you’re looking to hire would have to be on a permanent job or employment contract for at least 12 months, with a gross monthly salary of at least $4,000 ($3,600 for SMEs).
Now that WSG is reaching out to more SMEs and making the Career Support Programme more known, jobseekers are also using it to their advantage.
At a recent career fair, Dynn noted that a lot of the candidates who were CSP-qualified would let companies know about it so that they can up their chances of getting hired.
It’s true that there’s no free lunch in the world, but this programme might be the closest you can get to that.
All images by Lenz Angelo.
More details of the CSP can be found here.
This sponsored post in collaboration with WSG makes Mothership.sg’s writers relieved that they won’t be hungry and homeless if they ever get fired.