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Second PMET job-matching agency opens in Jurong

SINGAPORE — Maximus Asia, the second employment agency from overseas that is tasked to help unemployed white-collar workers with their job search, opened its doors at Westgate Tower in Jurong yesterday.

Maximus Asia, the second employment agency from overseas that is tasked to help unemployed white-collar workers with their job search, opened its doors at Westgate Tower in Jurong. Photo: Screencap from Google Maps

Maximus Asia, the second employment agency from overseas that is tasked to help unemployed white-collar workers with their job search, opened its doors at Westgate Tower in Jurong. Photo: Screencap from Google Maps

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SINGAPORE — Maximus Asia, the second employment agency from overseas that is tasked to help unemployed white-collar workers with their job search, opened its doors at Westgate Tower in Jurong yesterday.

As part of a two-year pilot with the Government, it offers its services exclusively to professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) who have been laid off, or who have been jobless and seeking work for a minimum of three months.

The first employment agency, Ingeus, based in the United Kingdom, opened in April at the Lifelong Learning Institute in Paya Lebar. Workforce Singapore (WSG) announced that Maximus, which is based in the United States and has branches in the UK, Canada, Australia and Saudi Arabia, was appointed the second agency.

PMET jobseekers will be randomly assigned to these two agencies, through WSG career centres, as well as the employment and employability institute (e2i) centres under the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).

The Singapore branch of Maximus has 14 employees, of whom 12 are Singaporeans. The other two are foreigners, sent here to be implementation advisers. Dr Michelle Dimasi, one of the advisers and its programme director, will help the team in the start-up operations, and look into importing the career-matching expertise from its overseas offices and customising them to suit Singapore’s context.

In response to media queries on the company’s strengths, WSG said that the services provided by Maximus Asia include career-coaching, tailored job-search strategies, and proactive matching and promotion of active white-collar jobseekers to employers who are hiring.

These are similar to the employment facilitation services offered by WSG career centres and NTUC’s e2i centres, it said. However, between Maximus Asia and Ingeus, “there could be slight differences in the approach and service-delivery model, as each provider deploys resources differently to draw on its unique strengths, to provide customised solutions to the jobseekers it serves”, WSG added.

On its website, Maximus stated that jobseekers using its services may expect a one-to-one interview with a career consultant, in-person progress reviews every two weeks, and weekly group peer support sessions. They will get email, SMS and social media alerts on vacancies, job tips and resources, as well as opportunities to meet Singapore training providers.

The two foreign agencies will operate on an outcome-based payment model, where WSG pays them for each jobseeker successfully employed.

In March, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say announced that the Government would be collaborating with two foreign employment agencies that have worked with governments in the UK and Australia. They were picked based on their focus on active jobseekers, instead of “passive jobseekers, where the jobs are looking for the workers”.

Between 2011 and this year, WSG ran pilots to work with four Singapore employment agencies for this same purpose, but the results were poor. The agencies’ placement rate for PMET jobseekers was at less than 50 per cent, short of the rate of about 60 per cent at WSG and e2i centres.

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