PMEs troubled by lack of proper skills: NTUC survey

Six out of 10 professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) face difficulties in their jobs – mainly due to a lack of relevant skills, according to a survey released yesterday.

The PME Unit of the labour movement interviewed nearly 900 people in a bid to better understand their opinions on job mobility and skill sets.

Out of 109 interviewees between the ages of 20 and 29, 85 per cent said they felt confident and competent at their jobs.

However, about 60 per cent of all respondents said they face problems in their jobs, primarily because they do not possess the relevant skill sets. Of those, more than a fifth felt that they lacked IT capabilities – a prominent issue among those aged over 30.

Young PMEs are less plagued by technology-related problems.

Instead, the survey revealed that many of them intend to change jobs within the industry over the next few years but do not possess sufficient industry-specific skills.

“We found that many face challenges pertaining to their current skill sets and knowledge,” said Mr Patrick Tay, director of NTUC’s PME Unit.

In response to this issue, the unit will introduce more skills-upgrading programmes.

“Very soon, PMEs can look forward to having more career-related training options offered through our U PME Centres,” said Mr Tay.

The centres were opened last year to help professionals with things like finding jobs, upgrading their skills and clarifying job contracts. Close to 600 people have sought assistance from them, with almost half needing help landing a job.

Ms M. Ganeshwari, 24, was among them. “I had trouble getting a job because of my resume-writing skills,” she said. “My resume was about eight to 10 pages long.”

With the guidance of a consultant, she managed to cut it down to two pages and was offered a job within a few weeks.

To ensure that PMEs receive the help they need, the labour movement also plans to continue working closely with “key partners” like the Devan Nair Employment and Employability Institute and Next U to provide more training programmes for PMEs.

In addition, the NTUC will be launching its second PME Week from April 7 to 11, when the public will be able to visit NTUC Centre to participate in courses ranging from personal branding workshops to project-management programmes.

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