How can I manage my job and my career?


Picking up the pieces after retrenchment

Retrenchment - WSG programmes can help increase your employability.
Retrenchment hurts. After the initial shock, you start to question yourself. Could I have prevented this? Was it just bad luck? Why me?

It’s important to not get overwhelmed with negative thoughts and lose your self-confidence and yourself. What is important now is to start picking up the pieces.

Assess the tools you have in your current situation

A good handyman has a toolbox that helps him build and repair. At this time, you must also ensure that you have the tools needed to:

  • Identify the jobs you can consider applying for, and;
  • Enhance your employability for those jobs. 

Most of us have have had little practice at the interview – the most important part of the job search. Your toolbox should help you better present your potential to the employer.

What needs to be in my toolbox?

Like any good toolbox, the most frequently used tools are arranged at the top for quick and easy access. In the case of a job search, such tools can include soft skills, industry contacts, your experience, and so on. It also helps to list any secondary skills you have, and highlight those that can help you adapt to other industries.

Sometimes, our common tools, while essential, may not be enough to do the job well. This is the time to get out the power tools. These are the employment support measures rolled out by the Government to help retrenched Singaporeans get placed in new jobs, or to learn new skills to help them switch careers.

Retrenchment - why me?
Use the right tools to increase your chance at employability

What are these tools?

The Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) helps you identify an industry you might consider a job in, and through the programme, enhance your employability in that industry by equipping you with new competencies for a new career. Targeted at Singaporean Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs), there are currently over 30 PCP programmes in over 20 sectors to choose from, including:

  • Infocomm Technology
  • Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Creative Industries
  • International Trade
  • Logistics

Or if you prefer to be matched to a job that best fits your current skillset and knowledge, there’s the P-Max programme. Here, PMET job seekers are job-matched with the help of project managers1 and placed into hiring Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs). PMETs can also be hired directly by participating SMEs.

The Career Support Programme (CSP) encourages employers to hire Singaporean PMETs. CSP provides wage subsidies to employers hiring Singaporeans employees, which further adds to the opportunity for both employers and Singaporean PMETs to secure a good job fit.

Not a PMET? There are two similar tools to help you in a retrenchment scenario as well. The Place-and-Train programmes help Singaporean job-seekers obtain the necessary knowledge and competencies to take on new jobs. Some programmes also have a work attachment component to help individuals acquire some real experience in the field.

If you prefer on-the-job training, there is Work Trial, which looks to strengthen your employability through short-term (40 hours to 80 hours) on-the-job training with a host company. Job seekers will then undergo a structured on-the-job programme with hiring companies to acquire skills, and potentially take on new jobs in the sector.

Picking up the pieces after retrenchment may involve some time and effort, but you should keep the momentum going.

Other useful tools to consider

The above programmes are under the Adapt and Grow initiative which aims to help Singaporeans adapt to the ever-changing economy and grow their competencies. You can keep updated on Adapt and Grow as well as other initiatives on the website.

Stay updated on upcoming career fairs, workshops and employment-related activities with Employment and Employability Institute’s events calendar.

Jobs Bank, which is an online job portal managed by WSG that facilitates job-matching opportunities between employers and local job seekers.

If you have been retrenched, do not be discouraged. Seize the opportunity to sharpen your skills and make use of your experience. And don’t forget to take advantage of the schemes available to help you. We wish you all the best.

1With support from the Workforce Singapore (WSG), the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME), the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), and the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) have been appointed as Programme Managers (PMs) to administer their respective Place-and-Train (PnT) programmes for SMEs and PMETs under P-Max.