These roles include swabbing or quarantine operations, implementing safe management measures, and providing patient services, Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng shared.
In the latest Parliamentary sitting, Singapore’s Minister for Manpower Dr Tan See Leng was asked by MP Dr Jamus Lim: “How many individuals working in COVID-19-related short-term roles have taken up retraining programmes, and been subsequently matched to another role.”
To that, Minister Tan responded, on Wednesday (4 August), that over 15,000 have been placed into public sector or government-funded short-term roles under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package.
The roles, he shared, are mainly supporting positions in COVID-19 operations such as swabbing or quarantine operations, implementing safe management measures, and providing patient services.
“At some point, the demand for such roles will taper down. For the moment, however, these roles remain in demand,” the Minister said.
Further, he mentioned that about three in 10 of these workers were “temporarily redeployed,” as part of the National Jobs Council’s effort to support workers in hard-hit sectors. As such, most of them are expected to return to their parent companies when demand recovers.
For any remaining workers, or workers unable to return to their previous employment due to reduced demand, or to personal preferences, Minister Tan urged them to utilise programmes like the SGUnited Traineeships and the Mid-Career Pathways and Skills programmes to get back into employment.
Employer support for hiring of locals
In relation to the aforementioned job matching services in Singapore, Minister Tan also took the opportunity to speak about the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI).
“JGI has been a great push to encourage employers to hire and expand their local workforce,” the Minister shared on Facebook.
“Those hiring mature workers, persons with disabilities, and ex-offenders will receive higher support of up to S$54,000 per hire under the JGI.
“I shared in Parliament that between September 2020 and February 2021, the JGI has supported around 780 ex-offender hires. Of these, eight in 10 were in environmental services, food services, logistics, wholesale trade, and construction.”
Minister Tan explained that there needn’t be any concern whether ex-offenders will be treated fairly after the wage support ends. This is because, he explained, the JGI is designed such that employers have to shoulder part of the cost of hiring of the worker, and the time and effort spent on training the new hire.
“It is therefore in the interest of employers to retain workers who prove their value to the company, even after the JGI support has ended,” the Minister said.
Should there be any unfair treatment, however, Minister Tan called for workers to approach the TAFEP Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP), which will investigate such complaints.
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