Contract jobs up for grabs

  • AseanPlus News
  • Thursday, 16 Jan 2003

GETTING a contract job as a bank officer was more than what Veronica Foo, 37, had hoped for when she started her job search last June.  

The former executive with 18 years of experience in the banking sector was, in fact, looking out for part-time clerical positions so that she could concentrate on her business diploma course. 

Instead, she landed a six-month contract for an executive position last September, with flexible working hours. She said: “There were a lot of contract jobs available and it was not a problem getting choice picks.” 

Leveraging on this rising trend of contract jobs, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) is planning to match the unemployed to these positions. 

The NTUC JobLink Centre, which placed 1,001 unemployed workers in permanent jobs last year - four times more than in 2001 - is starting to source for contract jobs to add to its job bank. 

It will also encourage job seekers to take on such non-permanent positions, said Heng Chee How, programme director for the centre.  

With employers being cautious about adding to their headcount, Heng noted that the next viable alternative was offering contract work, which allowed companies to hire according to their needs. 

It is an international trend, which companies here are cottoning on to. A recent Manpower Ministry report shows a growing pool of contract workers, which hit almost 37,000 last year. This was a 50% jump over the 24,600 recorded four years ago. 

Heng believes job seekers are open to the idea of contract work, despite the lack of job security. 

As Foo puts it: “Having a job during these tough times is better than no job at all.”– The Straits Times/Asia News Network  

  • Another perspective from The Straits Times, a partner of Asia News Network. 

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