National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) introduced a new scheme in a bid to help the unemployed get back into the workforce. Launched on Thursday (Jul 27), the initiative will grant professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) who are out of work with wage support.
Entitled as the Returner Work Trial, the scheme aims to provide employment opportunities for local PMETs who have been jobless for at least two years, Channel News Asia reports.
The scheme will last for six months, and during the trial period, employers will offer structured on-the-job training for these workers. Talents will receive training allowance of at least S$2,500, while Workforce Singapore will contribute S$1,500 per month while the employer will fork out a minimum of S$1,000 per month.
To get the grants, there are several requirements to meet. Those eligible to apply for the trial are Singapore citizens aged 30 and above, possess a degree or diploma or previously held a PMET role, and have been out of work for two years or longer. Meanwhile, for employers who want to participate in the program, the companies should be registered or incorporated in Singapore.
Official statement from NTUC suggested employers to provide options for flexible work arrangements for the employees, such as telecommuting during the trial and upon permanent placement. Additionally, they are also encouraged to offer a permanent or a 12-month contract position and above to the PMET at the end of the trial period if he or she demonstrates good job and is deemed suitable to seal the deal.
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Further, NTUC and Workforce Singapore also said that employers will receive a bonus of S$3,000 as an additional incentive, if the returning PMET is hired in a permanent or contract position of at least 12 months, and he or she works for three continuous months after the trial. This bonus will be given to the employer at the nine-month mark after the start of the trial, regardless of when the returning worker was placed.
Mr Desmond Choo, director of industrial relations at NTUC, stated that reintegrating PMETs who took a break from their career into the workforce will help meet current and future manpower demand in Singapore.
“The talent in this pool is immense. Much more can be done to value the contributions and sacrifices made by these professionals, so that they can make a seamless transition back to the workforce,” said Mr Choo.
Since July, 22 companies have registered to participate in the scheme, offering a total of 80 work trial positions. With this enthusiasm, Mr Choo said he expected this number to increase.
Applications for the scheme will start on Sep 1, and those interested can contact NTUC U Family at email@example.com.