Singapore's Minister for Manpower, Tan Chuan-Jin, launched an enhanced place-and-train programme called P-Max, targeted at professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) yesterday.

From 18 March 2015 to end December 2017, P-Max will place and facilitate the job entry of more than 3,000 PMEs in suitable jobs at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Under the programme, training will provided for management staff, supervisors, HR representatives from the SMEs and their newly-hired PMEs. P-Max will also provide post-training follow-up with the newly-trained PME personnel and their SME representatives for a period of six months. 

Additionally, SMEs who successfully retain their newly-hired PMEs for six months will also be awarded a one-time assistance grant of $5,000 .

"To tap on the growth opportunities available, SMEs are strengthening their HR capabilities, including how they recruit and develop PMEs in their organisations. This is important now more than ever because of the tight labour market in Singapore," Ng Cher Pong, chief executive, Workforce Development Authority (WDA), said.

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The WDA called for SMEs to join P-Max, adding they should have PME job vacancies offering a gross monthly salary of at least s$2,500 in order to be eligible.

It explained individuals wishing to apply for the programme must either be Singapore citizens or permanent residents interested in pursuing a career in an SME or those who have started work in an SME for less than 3 months.

Additionally, they should have experience in a PME position or hold a Diploma, and have at least a year of full-time work experience.

"P-Max will include a new one-day SME workshop which equips SMEs to adopt and incorporate progressive HR practices by training supervisors in participating SMEs to effectively communicate and work with PMEs within their organisation," the WDA stated.

"The content of the existing PME Workshop will also be enhanced to include modules on workplace ethics, joint targets setting and performance reviews. This will better help PMEs excel in an SME work environment."

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