Grads flexible about pay

FRESH graduate Wang Wei Xiang will jump at a job that pays $2,000 a month, even though it is $500 less than the average starting pay.
The 26-year-old, who has a degree in business management from Singapore Management University (SMU), is even willing to be an intern for $700 a month.

His overriding concern is that the job gives him experience in human resource and organisational development.

Mr Wang's flexible stance on pay is typical of the 800 new graduates who attended a job fair yesterday. Over 6,000 jobs were on offer from 28 organisations at the fair organised by Young NTUC, the youth arm of the National Trades Union Congress.

Participants included the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), integrated resorts Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World at Sentosa, and pre-school operator NTUC First Campus.

About 12,000 are expected to graduate from the local universities this year, said NTUC assistant secretary-general Josephine Teo.

But at least 1,000 of them may find themselves without a job even after six months, should their employment rate hit the 87 per cent level of the 2003 Sars period, said an NTUC statement yesterday.

Hence, Mrs Teo, adviser to Young NTUC, urged graduates at the fair to promptly launch their career even if they cannot find their 'dream' job. Whatever the job, it will give them new skills, she said.

She also highlighted the large number of jobs on offer at the fair, saying it shows there are still many opportunities despite the downturn.

Mrs Teo's advice struck a chord with SMU marketing graduate Desiree Koh, 24. 'I'll accept a starting pay of about $2,000. I'm still young,' she said.


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