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No Degree, No Problem: Non-PMET Roles and Opportunities for Singaporean Jobseekers

Here’s a closer look at the local non-PMET job market and the prospects available for workers moving forward.

  • Non-PMET roles may not require higher-level skills from tertiary education
  • Upskilling initiatives are being prioritised for workers in such jobs to ensure progress for everyone
  • Raising salaries for non-PMET and lower-wage workers is also in progress

If you’re confused by all the classifications and acronyms, here’s a quick breakdown.

PMETs refer to the category of workers in roles such as Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians.

Non-PMETs, or non-executive roles, refer to roles that may not need higher-level skills (which can be acquired through tertiary education) in industries such as accommodation & food services, administrative & support services and wholesale & retail.

In 2019, Singapore’s workforce crossed a tipping point, with the majority of local workers (56%) in roles defined as PMETs, compared to 47% a decade earlier.

However, that doesn’t mean that non-executive roles aren’t a key driver in the Singapore economy and workforce!

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Non-PMET jobs matter to Singapore

As recently as November 2022, Singapore Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam identified non-PMET workers as a key segment that could benefit from a new lifelong learning system to ensure progress for everyone.

Senior Minister Tharman, who is also Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, said at the inaugural Global Lifelong Learning Summit: “Unlike formal education in schools, an adult learning system may be more dispersed, with many different providers working on different platforms.

“Blue-collar and ordinary white-collar (non-PMET) workers are more at risk of stagnating in their career than professional workers, he said.

“We’ve got to find ways in which we provide conveniently, and in a relevant way, equal opportunities for quality learning for every segment of the workforce.”

Salaries for non-PMET workers

At the same time, the Singapore government has also been looking at ensuring that non-executive and lower-wage workers are rewarded with wage increases or variable payments that are fair and sustainable. This aims to address concerns about inflation and the rising costs of living.

As such, in November 2022, the Singapore Government accepted the recent National Wages Council (NWC) Guidelines, which recommended wage growth for lower-wage workers and factors in business sustainability, to help efforts in narrowing any income gaps.

These efforts will bring 56,000 full-time lower-wage workers under the coverage of Progressive Wages from March 2023.

The Government will also continue to support employers in uplifting lower-wage workers through the 5-year Progressive Wage Credit Scheme, which co-funds eligible lower-wage worker wage increases.

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What non-PMET roles are available in Singapore, and what is their salary range?

According to a Ministry of Manpower report released in 2022, for non-executive job openings, the rise of e-commerce has led to increased demand for drivers of lorries, vans and light goods vehicles, the MOM report revealed.

Salary ranges for in-demand positions include construction labourers, sales assistants, cleaners, and security guards, as seen below.

Top 10 Non-PMET Job Vacancies

Rank Job Role Salary Range
1 Construction Labourer $800-1,600
2 Shop Sales Assistant $1,400-1,838
3 Cleaner $1,400-1,700
4 Receptionist, Customer Service and Information Clerk $1,900-2,500
5 Waiter $1,700-2,200
6 Security Guard $2,200-2,600
7 General Office Clerk $2,000-2,762
8 Heavy Truck and Lorry Driver $2,300-3,000
9 Electrical and Electronic Equipment Assembler $1,200-1,800
10 Kitchen Assistant $1,700-2,400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to learn more about non-PMET roles and what they entail? Read on below!

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