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Jobs Bank to turn into one-stop shop

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Singaporeans can get their training, learning and employment needs from portal after revamp

The national Jobs Bank will soon be more than just a portal for Singaporeans to find work as the Government moves to improve its functions to better guide workers on skills training and match them to relevant jobs.

The Jobs Bank, run by statutory board Workforce Singapore (WSG), will be integrated with the SkillsFuture Singapore-run Individual Learning Portfolio, which will curate information about the training and jobs landscape when it is rolled out in stages from this year.

When it is complete, Singaporeans will be able to turn to one portal for their training, learning and employment needs, spokesmen from both agencies told The Straits Times yesterday.

The move comes at a time of muted employment growth in a slower economy and a push for higher productivity.

It also follows recommendations by the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) to integrate both portals.

The CFE, tasked to chart the next phase of growth, released its report last Thursday.

It said two shifts were required for Singaporeans to adapt and thrive in a constantly changing jobs market: People have to work towards acquiring deep skills throughout their life; and more opportunities must be created for them to use their skills on the job.

It also called on the Government to make the Jobs Bank more user-friendly.

The WSG spokesman said the portal will be enhanced this year, and details will be released at a later date.

He said the enhancements are a result of feedback from users.

Jobs Bank was launched in 2014 under the Fair Consideration Framework.

Employers must post vacancies on the portal for positions paying less than $12,000 a month for at least 14 days, before they can apply to hire a foreigner on an Employment Pass.

Observers and users suggested that a revamped Jobs Bank could take on the role of a virtual career advisor for job seekers.

Singapore Human Resources Institute president Erman Tan and Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Zaqy Mohamad said the portal could recommend jobs and courses to people based on profiles they create listing their work experience, for instance.

Labour MP Patrick Tay said applicants could have their skill gaps identified for them based on their curriculum vitae and the requirements of the jobs they are applying for.

Data from the portal could also be used to inform policy on training, observers said.

If the data shows that jobs in certain sectors are not being filled by locals, training agencies can focus efforts on helping locals develop the required expertise, said Mr Joshua Yim, chief executive officer of recruitment firm Achieve Group.

WSG said it does not track the number of job matches or how long new hires stay on, as job seekers and employers are not required to provide updates after a successful job search or hire.

Research analyst Sean Yeo, 27, who has used the career resources section of the Jobs Bank to help prepare for interviews, suggested having a feature to track the progress of a job application.

For instance, it would show whether an application has been seen by companies, and if an interview has been scheduled.

"For a fresh graduate navigating the unfamiliar job search process for the first time, this would be very helpful," he said.