Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced in Parliament during the fourth Budget this year an SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package that will create close to 100,000 opportunities, which includes the jobs, as well as 25,000 traineeships and 30,000 skills training placements.
As part S$2 billion package to improve the employment situation in the country, more than 40,000 jobs will be created. For the said 40,000 positions, the public sector will bring forward its hiring schedule to meet long-term needs in areas like early childhood education, healthcare and long-term care.
Together with jobs to meet short-term needs related to COVID-19 operations, such as healthcare declaration assistants and swabbers, the public sector will create 15,000 roles, Mr Heng said.
As for the remaining 25,000 positions, most will come from the business sector. Mr Heng stated that government agencies will be working together with companies to create these positions through avenues such as scaling up the Adapt and Grow programmes.
To ensure the adequate skill and competency requirement is met to fill these jobs, the government will also expand the capacity of its career conversion programmes, such as the Place-and-Train conversion programmes, as well as the Infocomm Media Development Authority-driven initiative.
In an attempt to offer individuals industry-relevant experience, about 25,000 traineeships will be available this year, including 4,000 places for mid-career jobseekers.
“We understand that many are worried about their job prospects,” Mr Heng explained. “This scheme specifically caters to the needs of mid-career individuals, to learn new skills and embark on new careers.”
The other 21,000 traineeship positions – more than double the original 8,000 target – will go to local first-time jobseekers like university graduates.
Said traineeships will include technology-related areas that are in high demand or are rapidly emerging, especially due to the rapid digitisation caused as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Mr Heng, more than a thousand companies have thus far expressed interest in the programme, adding that the public sector will also offer some of these traineeships. The traineeship also offers the incentive of being hired after their time in training is complete. Even if participants do not land jobs at their host company, they will be able to take the skills they learned to the next job.
To encourage individuals to improve their skills, jobseekers that undergo training programme will receive an allowance of S$1,200 a month during the course of their training. This is meant to help them focus on their learning and job search, Mr Heng said.
Additionally, to spur employers to continue hiring despite the bleak economic outlook, the Government will increase the amount it gives out under SkillsFuture Mid-Career Support Package, Mr Heng said.
For workers aged 40 and above hired through reselling programmes, it will cover 40 percent of the worker’s salary over six months, capped at S$12,000 in total.
On the other hand, for eligible workers under 40, the Government will co-fund 20 percent of the worker’s monthly salary over six months, capped at S$6,000 in total.