Employment rate among fresh poly grads dips, but wages rise: Survey

SINGAPORE– While the average regular monthly salary has increased for fresh polytechnic graduates, the employment rate for this group has dipped to an all-time low because data was first collected in 2005, based upon the most recent Graduate Work Study by the 5 polytechnics here.

The study discovered that 86.4 per cent of those who were working or actively looking for work had landed jobs within 6 months of finishing, a drop from 90.6 percent in 2016. From 2011 to 2015, the figure hovered between 88.9 per cent and 92.1 percent.

The rate was 89.8 percent for graduates who went into the labor force after National Service (NS), which likewise dropped from 95.4 percent in 2016.

A spokesperson from the survey committee informed TODAY that the general employment rate “is the lowest since 2005”. “The steady decrease over the years reflects the greater shift in polytechnic graduates’ choices and aspirations. More polytechnic graduates are choosing to start work later on, or strategy to set up their own companies.”


More graduates are also pursuing further studies, particularly full-time research studies, and less are economically active in terms of looking or working for tasks.

“While the variety of polytechnic graduates who can not discover employment has not altered significantly for many years, with the shrinking base of economically active graduates, this results in an increasing unemployment rate. For polytechnic graduates who are seeking employment upon graduation, they continue to be in good demand in the task market,” the representative included.

The outcomes of the survey, done in 2015 based upon actions from 10,151 fresh graduates and 5,022 post-NS graduates, were launched on Friday (Jan 12).

Graduates who wish to further their studies are a growing group that the 2017 survey’s committee has actually kept in mind.

In November in 2015, the Workforce Ministry detailed in its advance 2017 labour force report that youths here are more inclined to choose further studies and are beginning work later on. Among other things, the report revealed that the work rate fell between June 2016 and June in 2015 for citizens aged 15 to 24, due to the young having a “greater propensity to pursue more education and postpone entry into the labour force”.

Amongst the polytechnic fresh graduates in the labour force in 2015, near one-third are in part-time or momentary employment (30.9 per cent), with a handful doing freelance work (2.8 per cent). About 5 in 10 (52.8 per cent) had full-time irreversible jobs.

For those in full-time tasks, the average gross monthly salary stood at S$ 2,200, a little higher than S$ 2,180 in 2016.

For those who got in the workforce after NS, the typical pay fell somewhat to S$ 2,480 in 2015, down from S$ 2,517 in 2016.

In terms of their job status, 6 in 10 (64 per cent) of post-NS graduates were in full-time permanent jobs, and nearly 2 in 10 (17.7 percent) remained in part-time or short-term work. The rest (8.1 percent) were doing self-employed work.

Just like the findings on the total associate, the majority of post-NS graduates were in part-time, temporary or independent employment because they were pursuing further studies, or preparing to do so.

Among the fresh graduates in full-time tasks, those from health-sciences diploma courses were the top earners, drawing the greatest mean gross month-to-month pay of S$ 2,500.

In 2nd location were those from the built environment, engineering and maritime course classification along with details and digital technologies, both at S$ 2,200.