Poll Results: What do you think would be most effective in encouraging employers to re-hire older workers?

The issue of unemployment for older workers is increasingly becoming a concern in Singapore. At a National Day Observance Ceremony for the National Trade Union Congress’ (NTUC) U Live Community at Pinnacle@Duxton two weeks ago, Minister in Prime Minister’s Office Mr. Lim Boon Heng urged employers to re-employ workers in the older age groups.

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Based on this issue, JobsCentral conducted a poll in the last two weeks, where 106 respondents indicated what they think would be most effective way to encourage employers to re-hire older workers.

A New Learning Era

Slated to be the first university in the world to inject concepts of design and innovation into the field of research, engineering and architecture, SUTD promises the world a whole new batch of creative talents.

By Nabilah Husna A. Rahman

Don’t expect Singapore’s fourth public university to be just another archetypal institute for higher learning. The Singapore University of Technology and Design, or as it is more commonly known, SUTD, is in a league of its own, with programmes focusing on the nurturing of the neo-engineer and architect.

SUTD aims to be an educational hub in the fields of technology and design by adopting a unique system of pedagogy in order to achieve the best and most innovative results among its students. Its close collaborations with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Zhejiang University in China will also promise an exciting blend of the most innovative cultures from both the East and the West.

It currently offers four degrees – Bachelor in Architecture with a major in Sustainable Design, Bachelor in Engineering with a major in Product Development, Bachelor in Engineering with a major in Systems and Design and Bachelor in Engineering with a major in Information Systems Technology and Design.

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The Application Essay - Demystified

The UK and the US are among the most popular overseas destinations for Singaporean students, and the application processes for both countries require essays. For prospective students, writing a good application essay is an important hurdle to getting into the school of their choice.

By Janelle Lau

For most overseas universities applicants, the most daunting part of the application is the personal essays required. In fact, personal statements can make or break an application. Yet, whether you are applying to a school in the US or the UK matters as there are differences in the style of writing personal essays for both. We delve into the world of both the UK and US universities and show you how to follow the unwritten guidelines for both countries. This will help you immensely during your application process.

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Add Some Fun to Job Hunting!

Looking for a new camera? Shopping for some new cosmetics? Lusting after that handbag you cannot afford?

JobsCentral and GMarket have teamed up to help you get that dream job and enjoy savings when you shop at Gmarket.

Register for a free JobsCentral account using the form below and you’ll be rewarded with a $2 gcoupon. On top of that, we will also be giving away a spanking new Apple iPad and three Coach Bags to four lucky registrants!

Click here to find out more!

A Different Life With NTUC Income

By Farhan Shah

In the cutthroat world of business where the bottom line dominates the direction a company takes, NTUC Income is a peculiar anomaly. “We are social in purpose, commercial in approach. Our philosophy is to put people before profits,” Percy Chong shares.

Percy should know what he is talking about. After all, as Training Manager of Income Academy, Percy has helped an astounding number of people fulfil their hidden potential. “We value your human potential. You are not just a statistic in NTUC Income,” the 38-year-old stresses.

This credo is diligently followed in the organisation. All fresh recruits receive at least 95 days of training to prepare them for the rigours of their new career. Recognising the challenges of starting out fresh, NTUC Income has a host of schemes designed to help newbies tide through the first six months, such as educational allowance and the transition funding initiative.

Individualised Planning
NTUC Income employees are also given the freedom to pursue their own interests in the industry. “You can individualise your plan, develop your own set of directions on how you want to operate,” Percy muses. “Essentially, your career is a blank piece of paper for you to write on.”

This flexibility and independence afforded to the financial consultants allow them “an opportunity to lead the life they want.” In a world that is slowly embracing the benefits of work-life balance, NTUC Income has grabbed the initiative, to allow you to pursue your aspirations.

“For example, if you aspire to do mission work in Cambodia and still want a respectable income, this career gives you the chance to do just that,” Percy encourages. It is this corporate philosophy that has enabled NTUC Income to retain almost 80 percent of its workforce in an industry where the average turnover rate is an astonishingly high 50 percent.

“It’s not a dog-eat-dog world in here. The colleagues are the kind of warm and genuine people you will find in your own home.”

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Key To Talent Attraction & Retention Revealed in National Research Study

What key attributes do you look for in your dream job?

Standard working hours, a good relationship with colleagues or a transparent organisation?

According to a recent study on talent attraction and retention – none of the above.

The top five attributes in the attraction of talent were ranked in order of importance by respondents as “opportunity for long term career progression”, “attractive overall compensation and benefit package”, “provide work life balance”, “opportunity to work in
different roles” and “training and development”.

When it came to the top five attributes in the retention of talent, respondents ranked
“attractive overall compensation and benefit package”, “opportunity for long-term career
progression”, “recognition and appreciation of employees' work”, “job security” and “provide work life balance” in order of importance.

The national research study, “A SNEF-StrategiCom Correlation Study In Branding of SMEs as Employers” was conducted by StrategiCom, a B2B branding specialist consulting firm. It was done in collaboration with the Singapore National Employers Federation.

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5 Dynamic Thoughts to Engage Your Audience

One of the challenges most speakers would face is to engage the audience or get them involved. To have a non responsive crowd would not be a good thing. The speaker with all his enthusiasm and excitement pounces into action to inspire the audience to speak and has a mental timer inbuilt waiting to be triggered off. One of the many outcomes the speaker could face is not knowing when would be the appropriate or right time.

It would be too late and awkward to realize from the time the presenter asks for the crowd's participation and coming to the rude awakening that he is not getting the desired outcome. That would crush him or cause him to make further mistakes, creating a not so promising atmosphere and an uneventful presentation.

We can avoid these situations. Let me spark off some ideas that could alter the course of your presentation and making it not only interactive but interesting as well.

Build bridges
Some preparation that you could do is to make as many friends with the audience as possible. You could do it before your speech or during the speech complimenting your audience, possibly gaining some favour or eventually some fans. Just by making friends ensure you are not talking to a cold audience.

Observe bodies that speak
Look out for possible gestures and movements of your audience and pay closer attention to those who nod or smile and build on them. They are your anchors that illuminate your environment. They can possibly assist you in the interactive portion of your presentation.

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News in Brief - Economic growth in Q2 and calls for changes to growth bonus and MVC

No time to read lengthy newspaper articles? Keep up with important news related to the economy and employment issues on JobsCentral Community!

Singapore's economy expanded by 18.8% on-year in Q2. This figure falls short of the growth estimate of 19.3%. Economists suggest that this moderation in the economy's growth signals a slower second half this year. The government has kept its forecast for the economy to grow between 13% and 15% cent in 2010.

Labour MP Halimah Yacob has called for the growth bonus to be restored in public sector paychecks. Introduced in 2007, the growth bonus is tied to Singapore's GDP performance and was initially given to top performers in the civil service. There was no such bonus in 2008 and 2009 due to the economy's poor performance. Madam Halimah stressed that the growth bonus is for all public sector employees, and should be restored this year due to the economic rebound.

Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong urges companies to up the Monthly Variable Component (MVC). Under the current recommended wage structure, 70% of monthly basic wages is made up of basic wage, 10% MVC and 20% Annual Variable Component (AVC). Mr Gan says that increasing the MVC will give companies a stronger buffer against future economic shocks.

Results of the 2010 JobsFactory Employers of Choice Survey

Which are the most popular employers from the private and public sector this year? What do graduates look for in potential employers and how do they decide between multiple job offers? How many of them are willing to accept contract-based job offers?

Get the answers to these questions and more in the 2010 JobsFactory Employers of Choice Survey (University Edition) Report! With a record high of 4,597 respondents from NTU, NUS and SMU, this is the largest and most comprehensive university graduate-focused survey in Singapore.

To download a complimentary copy of the survey extract report: CLICK HERE!

The JobsCentral Career & Learning Fair is back this October!

The hottest career fair is back at Hall 403 and 404 of Suntec Singapore on 2nd and 3rd October! With 50% increase in hall space from 2009, the JobsCentral Career & Learning Fair 2010 brings you more job offerings and education courses from a wide range of exhibitors. It’s BIGGER & BETTER this year!

Whether you are looking for great career or education opportunities, the JobsCentral Career & Learning Fair 2010 is the place for you! Get a chance to interact with potential employers and gai...n invaluable career insights into various industries. Want to pursue higher education or acquire more life skills? Don’t miss the opportunity to speak to the education providers and training organizations at the fair.

Admission is FREE! We strongly encourage you to pre-register online to beat the queues at the on-site registration booth.

Register online now to
- Avoid the long registration queue and gain express entry
- Receive updates on event information (seminars, latest exhibitors and many more)
- Stand a chance to be invited to the exclusive networking session

Register at http://jobscentral.com.sg/careerfair/main/registration now!