The Singapore government announced on 26 May its S$33 billion “Fortitude” budget, which will provide support for businesses and workers in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
One of the key features of the budget is the provision of hiring incentives for employers that hire local workers who have completed eligible traineeship and training programmes. For eligible workers under the age of 40 years, the incentive will be 20% of the monthly salary for 6 months, capped at S$6,000 in total. For eligible workers 40 years old and above, the incentive will be 40% of the monthly salary for 6 months, capped at $12,000 in total.
Eligible reskilling programmes are the Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs), Place-and-Train (PnT) programmes for rank-and-file workers, career transition programmes by Continuing Education and Training (CET) centres, SGUnited Traineeships, SGUnited Mid-Career Traineeships and SGUnited Skills.
The Traineeships programme is estimated to benefit 55,000 people in 2020. It provides recent and new graduates and unemployed mid-career jobseekers with opportunities to gain industry-relevant work experience. Workforce Singapore co-funds 80% of the qualifying training allowance for host companies offering traineeship opportunities under the SGUnited Traineeships and SGUnited Mid-Career Traineeships programme. Traineeship positions include those in the R&D sector, including universities, A*STAR research institutes, AI Singapore, and local deep-tech startups through SG Innovate.
This initiative is in line with the Singapore government’s focus on equipping employees with technology-related skills to boost employability, and ties in with other initiatives such as the Technology in Finance Immersion Programme, which helps mid-career Singaporean or permanent resident professionals kick start technology careers in the financial services sector.
The programmes rolled out by the Singapore government will encourage employers to retain and hire more local employees, and employers are likely to benefit from the enhanced training for their current and new employees.
We have also discussed other issues relating to Singapore employment law and workplace measures during COVID-19 in previous LawFlashes:
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