US-China trade war: Will young grads & future job-seekers in S’pore be affected?

There are a few government programmes in place to help.

Sulaiman Daud | July 9, 04:00 pm


The trade war between the U.S. and China was not resolved on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, despite the hopes of U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping.

Its impact has been felt in Singapore, with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) revising its full-year growth projections for this year.

The initial numbers of 1.5 to 3.5 per cent GDP growth were revised to 1.5 to 2.5 per cent in May 2019.

A technical recession may also be possible for end-2019.

S’pore could go into technical recession in the 3 months going into Sept. 2019

Employment rate among young “remained high”: MOM

What, then, are the job prospects for young Singaporeans entering the workforce in the coming years?

In reply to a question from MacPherson MP Tin Pei Ling, Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo said that despite the slowing economy, the labour market “held up”, at least during the first quarter of 2019.

CNA previously reported in April 2019 that the Q1 unemployment rate for Singaporeans “grew slightly” to 3.2 per cent.

But in her written answer on July 8, Teo said the employment rate for youths aged 2o to 29 “remained high” at about 70 per cent.

She added that despite the unemployment rate increasing to 5.6 per cent, this fell within the range seen in the past five years.

Support at every level

She highlighted the existing programmes run by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) like:

  • the MyCareersFuture Portal for fresh grads, which lists jobs by title, minimum expected salary, and also types of contracts;
  • the Career Starter Program, which helps poly and ITE graduates to find jobs by providing specialised coaching for job hunting and interviews; and also
  • the WSG’s Careers Connect or NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i)’s career centres, which assist people in their job hunts.

Keep an open mind

Along with the government initiatives on hand, Teo encouraged Singapore youths to be open to different opportunities, perhaps in other sectors or roles.

To help with this, the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn programme and the MySkillsFuture Portal to help youths acquire relevant skills for their chosen industry.

Said Teo: “In short, be open, agile, relevant. There will be employers out there who will welcome you.”

Top image from NTU’s Facebook page.

About Sulaiman Daud

Sulaiman believes that we can be heroes, if just for one day. His favourite Doctor is Peter Capaldi's Twelve and his favourite person is Jürgen Klopp. He also writes about film and pop-culture, which you are very welcome to read here.

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