MOM to Help PMETs Seeking to Switch Careers in an Uncertain Economy

March 7, 20178:35 am442 views

MOM seeks to help Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) looking to switch careers in an uncertain economy, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say told Parliament yesterday during the debate on the ministry’s annual budget.

The Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) will continue to subsidise 70 percent of the monthly pay, of those undergoing career conversion, but the subsidy cap will be raised from $2,000 to $4,000 a month. This means that the programme can support employers, who hire the PMETs at $5,700 a month, said Mr. Lim.

Employers who hire those who are 40 years and older or those who have been unemployed for more than six months will get a higher level of subsidy. They will receive 90 percent subsidy of the monthly pay at a higher cap of $6,000, up from $4,000 a month.

“At 90 percent wage support, we can now support mid-level jobs up to $6,700 of salary,” Mr Lim said. The enhancements to this program were among a slew of measures announced by Mr.Lim to help workers find jobs and equip them with skills needed to address the problem, Straits Times reports.

Some of the other measures to help PMETs include:

  • A Work Trial programme wherein workers can try a new job for a period of time, which will be extended from two weeks to three months.
  • A new Attach and Train programme where workers can join companies for training attachments without the firms having to hire them. The trainees will receive training allowances amounting to between 50 and 70 percent of salaries for the jobs they are being trained in, capped at $4,000 a month. This programme has primarily been piloted for the logistics sector.

Other industries keen on pursuing an Attach and Train programme include the Infocomm, healthcare and biologics sectors that are projected to see growth in the future.

See: 2016 Saw Increase in Hiring Demand for PMETs: MOM Finds

Employers who hire retrenched older PMETs (aged 40 and above) or those who have been unemployed for more than one year will get higher wage subsidies under enhancements to the Career Support Programme. The salary support will also be extended from 12 to 18 months, and translates to up to $42,000 over 18 months.

PMETs aged 40 to 49 who are made redundant or are unemployed for six months will get wage support doubled, up to $25,200 over 12 months. The Career Support Programme will be extended to all PMETs who are unemployed for six months or more, regardless of age or whether they were laid off. This translates to a maximum of $12,600 over 12 months for PMETs under 40.

The minimum salary of workers for companies to join the Career Support Programme will be lowered from $4,000 to $3,600 per month for small- and medium sized enterprises, so they can also take part in the scheme.

The government will hire two foreign employment agencies to help PMETs find jobs. These agencies have experience working with governments in the UK and Australia. Further, the National Jobs Bank will become a one-stop jobs and skills online portal, with more self-help tools for users.

Also read: Internationalisation Creates 61% PMET jobs in Singapore

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