26 May 2020 – Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat had announced the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package to support close to 100,000 jobseekers during his Ministerial Statement. This Package aims to expand job and traineeship opportunities in both the public and private sectors for jobseekers, and provide enhanced training support. These efforts will support Singaporeans in acquiring job-related skills and capabilities, and in accessing expanded employment opportunities.
2 As part of the earlier Budgets, the Government had rolled out various initiatives to help enterprises retain and reskill workers, and provide support to workers and jobseekers. For example, the Jobs Support Scheme provided support to enterprises to retain local workers, while the SGUnited Jobs Initiative helped jobseekers find temporary employment. Enhanced training support was provided in the form of enhanced absentee payroll across all sectors, with enhanced course fee subsidies for severely affected sectors, and early use of the SkillsFuture Credit top-up. The existing base of training support was enhanced earlier in the form of the Next Bound of SkillsFuture, with the SkillsFuture Mid-Career Support Package focusing on helping Singaporeans in their 40s and 50s to stay skilled and employable.
3 To further augment the support for jobseekers, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Ministry of Education (MOE), and Public Service Division (PSD) will roll out the following key initiatives under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package:
- Expand the SGUnited Jobs Initiative by scaling up job opportunities and career conversion programmes under the Adapt and Grow and the TechSkills Accelerator initiatives;
- Expand traineeships through SGUnited Traineeships Programme for recent and new graduates, SGUnited Mid-Career Traineeships for mid-career unemployed jobseekers, and Adapt and Grow Attach-and Train programmes;
- Strengthen training support through SGUnited Skills programme; and
- Enhance the Hiring Incentive under the SkillsFuture Mid-Career Support Package
(A) Scale Up Job Opportunities
SGUnited Jobs Initiative
4 The SGUnited Jobs initiative will be scaled up to provide more than 40,000 jobs in 2020. The public sector will support this by providing 15,000 jobs in 2020. These include short-term jobs to handle COVID-19 related operations, as well as longer-term jobs created or for which hiring has been brought forward in the Public Service and publicly funded sectors, such as healthcare and early childhood education. As part of this effort, the public sector will also provide two-year training positions for local jobseekers and equip them with in-demand skills through structured and on-the-job training. This will put them in a good position in the job market once the economy recovers.
5 We will work with businesses to place local jobseekers into 25,000 jobs. Besides short-term COVID-19 related jobs, we will also ramp up career conversion programmes to more than 14,000 places. Place-and-Train programmes under Workforce Singapore's (WSG) Adapt and Grow Initiative and IMDA's Company-Led Training (CLT) programme for tech jobs under the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) initiative provide training and salary support to employers who hire and reskill mid-career jobseekers to take on new jobs. Job redesign reskilling/redeployment programmes support existing workers who are vulnerable or at risk of redundancy to undergo reskilling and take on new or redesigned job roles within the same company respectively. These programmes will help mid-career switchers to move into new occupations or sectors that have good longer-term prospects.
(B) Expand Traineeships
SGUnited Traineeships and SGUnited Mid-Career Traineeships
6 The SGUnited Traineeships Programme aims to provide recent and new graduates with opportunities to develop industry-relevant skills and build professional networks, so as to boost their employability by the time hiring demand picks up.
7 We will more than double the number of traineeships for our recent and new graduates, from 8,000 to 21,000. This will include new traineeship positions in our research and development sector, including our universities, A*STAR research institutes, AI Singapore, and local deep-tech start-ups through SG Innovate.
8 We will pay special attention to mid-career jobseekers, many of whom are worried about their job prospects. We will introduce the SGUnited Mid-Career Traineeships Programme to provide a further 4,000 traineeships for mid-career unemployed locals. More details about the SGUnited Mid-Career Traineeships Programme will be announced later.
9 Attach-and-Train programmes under the Adapt and Grow Initiative are career conversion programmes that train workers for emerging jobs ahead of hiring demand. These programmes provide training and work attachments with industry partners in sectors with a strong growth outlook and good job opportunities. We will scale up these programmes to provide more opportunities for jobseekers to move into emerging areas.
(C) Strengthen Training Support
10 To further support reskilling and upskilling, we will introduce a new SGUnited Skills (SGUS) programme to offer training opportunities that will equip trainees with industry-relevant and work-ready skills, which will in turn enhance their employability. This programme will support up to 30,000 jobseekers.
11 The SGUS programme is a full-time training programme ranging from six to 12 months. It will comprise industry-relevant and certifiable courses delivered by companies and Continuing Education and Training (CET) Centres, including Institutes of Higher Learning. These courses are designed in partnership with the industry, with the companies co-developing and co-delivering the course. Trainees will also have opportunities to apply the skills learnt through workplace immersions or participation in workplace projects with companies.
12 Each trainee will receive a monthly training allowance of $1,200 for the duration of his/her training. Course fees will be highly subsidised, to ensure SGUS is affordable. Nett fees, after Government subsidy, will be $500 for a 6-month and $1,000 for a 12-month SGUS programme respectively. Individuals can use their available SkillsFuture Credit to offset these course fees, including the top-ups announced in the February 2020 Budget Speech1.
13 The SGUS courses will be rolled out progressively from July 2020. More details on the list of courses and the application process will be made available by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) in June 2020.
(D) Enhance Hiring Incentive
14 The above measures will be complemented by an enhancement of the hiring incentive which was introduced under the SkillsFuture Mid-Career Support Package.
15 The enhanced hiring incentive will be expanded to cover workers of all ages, with higher support for mature workers:
- Employers who hire local workers aged below 40 through eligible2 reskilling and training programmes can receive 20% salary support for 6 months, capped at $6,000 in total.
- Employers who hire local workers aged 40 and above through eligible reskilling and training programmes can receive 40% salary support for 6 months, capped at $12,000 in total.
16 To help jobseekers access the above job and training opportunities, SSG and WSG will work closely with partners such as NTUC and e2i to step up career assistance and outreach efforts. Jobseekers may also find out more about the opportunities available at https://www.mycareersfuture.sg.
17 For more information on (A) scaling up of opportunities, (B) expanding traineeships and (D) enhancements to the hiring incentive, please contact WSG at https://www.ssg-wsg.gov.sg/about/contact-us.html. Participating companies and job roles for TeSA are listed on www.imtalent.sg/CLT and www.imtalent.sg/tesamidcareer.
Under the Next Bound of SkillsFuture, the Government announced a $500 top-up for Singaporeans aged 25 and above in 2020, made available for use for courses offered by the Institutes of Higher Learning and NTUC Learning Hub from 1 April 2020, and all SkillsFuture Credit-eligible courses from 1 October 2020.
Reskilling programmes eligible for the hiring incentive are the Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs), Place-and-Train (PnT) programmes for rank-and-file workers, career transition programmes by CET Centres, SGUnited Traineeships, SGUnited Mid-Career Traineeships, SGUnited Skills.