How graduating youths feel about landing jobs amidst COVID-19

COVID-19 is the crisis this generation of Singaporeans needs to overcome with unity and resilience.

Justin Hui

Published: 8 June 2020, 8:21 PM

On Sunday (Jun 7), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed the nation in the first of six national broadcasts on securing Singapore’s future in a post-COVID-19 world.

PM Lee emphasised that jobs will be the biggest priority for the government, and listed the schemes to help different groups of Singaporeans stay employed or find new jobs.

These include the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package for fresh graduates, the Self-employed Person Income Relief Scheme for freelancers, and the Jobs Support Scheme for those already employed. All these and more will be coordinated by the National Jobs Council, led by Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

“So if you need a job, there are real options to pursue and you will have help and support,” said PM Lee.

Youth.SG spoke to five undergrads in their final year to find out how they feel about the job situation in Singapore, and the government’s efforts to help them find work opportunities.

Keen to try out a different industry

“I think that the government initiatives are helpful because I personally do not mind trying out an industry that is not related to my degree. After all, I studied tourism and hospitality which I think would be hard to find a job in this sector currently.

Moreover, from the current situation now, I see the importance of diversifying my skill sets so that I would still have a steady stream of income should I face such an economic crisis again.” – Nur Hidayah, 22

The tourism and hospitality sector is expected to take longer to bounce back from COVID-19. PHOTO CREDIT: KIN PASTOR VIA PEXELS

Honing skills for when the economy improves

“It’ll definitely be hard finding a job in this climate, but moving forward we can manage our expectations and try out different jobs that have been created through the National Jobs Council and the SGUnited traineeships programme.

“With all these programmes, it can allow us to hone our skills that can aid us in our job searches when the economy improves.” – Elle Ang, 24

Upgrading skills to remain relevant

“I sent out more than 20 resumes before I finally landed a job in April. While it was not something that I expected myself to do after graduation, I do not mind because I know how difficult it is to find a job right now.

“The government initiatives may help increase our chances of employment, because with then we can better market ourselves to value add to the company so higher chance of getting employed.

“While I do have a full-time job waiting for me when I graduate, I am thinking of upgrading my skills with the grants provided so that I can remain relevant to this uncertain economy in future.” – Beatrice Tan, 22

Reassured by new job and training opportunities created

“I feel reassured by the government initiatives like the National Jobs Council because I have been worrying about my ability to secure a job upon graduation. I also feel quite lost because I have been sending resumes to more than 10 different companies but have not received a job offer as of now.

“While I have been using the time during circuit breaker to take up online courses, I think it is still limited in terms of the actual skills I would require when working as a professional so I am definitely glad that there are such opportunities for fresh graduates.” – Muhammad Farhan, 25

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