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Fewer young graduates in full-time employment, 1 in 5 in temporary employment and internship, Singapore News & Top Stories

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SINGAPORE – Few students who graduated last year managed to secure a full-time job, although government programs have helped the most accomplished find some form of employment.

Nearly seven in 10 of those graduates from four local universities last year found permanent jobs, up from 81.7 percent in 2019, according to a joint annual graduate employment survey released on Friday (February 19th).

Over one in five young people said they were employed in part-time work or training, the survey showed, the first to give a broad picture of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on young jobseekers. This is three times the number of temporary jobs, compared to last year.

Overall, 93.6 percent of them were employed within six months of completing their final exams, up from 90.7 percent in 2019. This refers to full-time, part-time, temporary or independent graduates.

Those who found a full-time job earned a higher average starting salary of $ 3,700 last year, compared to $ 3,600 in 2019, the survey said. Those in the information and digital technologies and engineering sector continued to attract higher wages.

Those in courses such as computer science, cybersecurity and software engineering had the highest gross monthly salary of $ 4,760, as well as the highest rate of full-time permanent employment at 87.3 percent.

About 22.3 percent of recent graduates last year began part-time or temporary work, up from 7 percent a year earlier.

The study said that about half of this group, or 11.3 percent of all graduates, had inadvertently started working in such a role last year, a sharp increase from 2.4 percent of graduates by 2019.

More than three in four of these graduates in part-time or course roles are participating in the SGUnited Training Program.

Introduced last year, the program helps young graduates from universities and polytechnics increase their employment when employment receives demand after the pandemic by passing on a link to a company and receiving assistance.

Government support for the SGUnited Training Program has been extended to March 31 next year in light of the ongoing pandemic impact on employment.

Submitting the Budget Statement on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said the additional assistance will be extended to workers who need support before placing a job, through programs like SGUnited Skills and SGUnited Traineeships.

The employment study also found that the percentage of graduates doing self-employment was 1.5 percent last year, a drop from 2.0 percent in 2019.

The survey involved 11,800 young graduates from full-time programs at Singapore National University, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore University of Management and Singapore University of Social Sciences.

The joint exercise took place about six months after the graduates had completed their final exams.

While surveys for the Institute of Technology and the University of Technology and Design of Singapore are ongoing, their results will be published at a later date.



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