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There have been many conversations on the gig economy and its viability to the economic conditions in Singapore. It is not a surprise to find that the older generations in Singapore are resistant to change and prefer the status-quo of full-time employment.
In other words, there are concerns about the continuation of upward mobility as the gig economy grows.
For this group of people, working is seen as a form of security in preparation for their retirement and therefore, are more active in upskilling and advancing their career.
On the other hand, the younger generation that is growing into the workforce shares a different mindset. Their belief in mental health takes more priority over a career, which is in line with the concept of a gig economy worker where it is common to have flexible work arrangements at their own convenience.
Given the economic slowdown due to the pandemic, it is understandable that gig work is suitable as a stopgap measure, especially for those newly graduated. But as more young workers turn towards gig work, the older generation is becoming increasingly concerned about the negative consequences it may have on future economic growth.
Despite the concerns, more than one in five fresh graduates were in temporary employment in 2020. The proportion of the graduated workforce in part-time or temporary employment tripled to 22.3% from 7% in 2019. More than half are under the SGUnited Traineeship Programme.
Most cited their reason to be because of the difficulty in finding a job during the pandemic and that the programme incidentally helps to equip them with skills to enter the job market when it recovers.
So what does this say about our future workers?
This shows that the young are staying resilient despite the unprecedented facing their way. Job hunting has always been challenging for all fresh graduands and especially difficult for those graduating during a pandemic.
Their willingness to upskill themselves in preparation for the job market’s recovery is an admirable trait, showing that the younger generation is spending their time meaningfully while sustaining themselves in this economic climate. Though, it must have been difficult to take the first worrying step in an uncertain time.
Rather than focusing on the potential ramifications of the gig economy, we should look at the benefits our younger generation have reaped while commending the adaptability and determination of the youths today.
It is praiseworthy that fresh graduates would choose to gain experience through temporary work across various sectors, while picking up valuable skills, rather than simply waiting around for a full-time opportunity to come their way.
This also allows them to discover various work options apart from the conventional ones and align their interests with their work if given the opportunity.
In a way, these skills help to prepare them for what’s coming as they enter the workforce. On top of learning on the job, fresh graduates could forge valuable connections that would help to widen their horizons, receive useful advice and possibly get recommended for coveted jobs not posted online.
As the world is evolving, individuals are shifting from the traditional essence of a meaningful life and what constitutes a “good” starting point. More are realising the importance of a healthy work-life balance, as opposed to their parent’s generation.
Today, the gig economy serves as a newfound passageway to broaden the newer generation’s changing mentality.
Outside is Singapore’s leading community micro-job platform that creates micro (l)earning opportunities for students, homemakers and seniors.
As a two-sided platform, Outside provides an all-in-one outsourcing management platform for businesses, assisting in breaking down jobs into smaller simpler pieces and improving operations efficiency. For job seekers, Outside provides flexible job opportunities that users can easily pick up and complete within the Outside app, allowing them to work conveniently and earn reliably.