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PostSubject: Go for post-grad studies   Go for post-grad studies Icon_minitimeTue Jan 20, 2009 3:05 pm

Go for post-grad studies

Go for post-grad studies Grads-stfile

FRESH graduates finding it tough to land a job should consider taking up post-grad studies during the economic downturn and start working when the job market improves, Acting Minister for Manpower Gan Kim Yong has suggested.

He said various economic agencies also offer scholarships, such as MAS's Finance Scholarship Programme, STB's Tourism Industry Scholarships, and EDB's Joint Industry Postgraduate Programme.

EDB has also announced a new training initiative, Prep-Up (Preparing for the Upturn), to help companies develop manpower capabilities in science and technology fields, which will open up even more opportunities for fresh graduates.

Mr Gan said the employment outlook for new graduates this year will be 'less rosy' compared to the last two years.

'This is to be expected given the weak economic outlook for 2009', he said in his written reply to a question from Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP Liang Eng Hwa in Parliament on Monday.

But the good news amid the gloom is that there are still growth areas that will see continuing demand for workers, said Mr Gan.

The healthcare sector, for example, will continue growing over the next two years with the development of healthcare facilities such as the opening of the new Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has aid there are now 6,200 job vacancies, of which 4,500 will be filled in the next two years.

The civil service will also continue hiring.

The Ministry of Education recently announced that it will be hiring more than 7,000 teachers and support staff in 2009; while the Ministry of Home Affairs is looking to fill more than 1,000 vacancies across the various Home Team departments.

New jobs will also be created from the pipeline of new investments in the manufacturing industry, such as pharmaceuticals and renewable energy.

In the tourism sector, the integrated resorts have also started their hiring efforts and are expected to provide more than 20,000 jobs, including at the PMET level, over the next few years.

'Graduates are encouraged to seek out these various opportunities and be realistic about job and wage expectations,' said Mr Gan.

'Some of the graduating students may consider proceeding with post-graduate education to acquire more knowledge and skills and enter the job market later when the situation has improved,' he added.

The minister said the government will monitor the employment situation closely and assess whether more needs to be done to help new graduates access job opportunities.

MOM and the Workforce Development Agency will also help to organise job fairs for graduating students.

'Our universities and polytechnics are also stepping up their efforts to secure job placements for its graduates. Besides organising career fairs, recruitment talks and career counselling, they have kept in close touch with industries and firms from hiring sectors'.

'For example, NUS Career Centre will intensify its work to engage more industries, including those from growth sectors such as gaming, environment and clean energy, to help find jobs for their graduates'.

'Our graduates must also make an extra effort to learn about the available jobs in the different sectors and be open to these various jobs which may not be what they have hoped for initially.'

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