Government to Give Companies Up to S$300,000 to Hire Foreign Talents; Higher Wages for Foreigners of Mid-Level Skills


Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said in parliament today that the government will give companies up to S$300,000 to hire foreign talents in a pilot scheme launched by the MOM and Workforce Singapore.

The scheme, known as the Capability Transfer Programme, will see private sector firms receiving government funding of between 30 percent and 90 percent to help them hire foreign “specialists” who possess skills that are rare in Singapore industries.

The hope is that bringing in these foreign “specialists” will raise the expertise of our local workforce.

Said Lim:

“Specialists have to do more than just training but also coaching and working alongside our local workers, be their trainer, mentor and guide.”

Lim was speaking in parliament today during the Committee of Supply debate where he put forward the MOM’s budget.

“We need to speed up the development and transfer of new and better global capabilities to our local workforce… not just in high tech, high profile and high impact sectors but in as many sectors as possible, and as quickly as possible.”

The Manpower Minister said that if S$300,000 is not sufficient for a company to engage foreign “specialists”, a higher funding figure can be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Lim also announced that foreign workers on S Passes (mid-skilled staff) will see an increased in minimum qualifying wage from the current S$2200 to S$2400.

The increase will be made in two steps: By S$100 from the start of next year, and another S$100 from the start of 2020.

Work permit holders will be allowed to stay longer for 4 more years starting from May this year.

This will apply to work permit holders of R1 and R2 skill levels from non-traditional sources such as Malaysia and India as well as China in all sectors.

Meanwhile, the MOM will attempt to give Singaporeans fair access to more high-quality jobs, by expanding the Fair Consideration Framework to cover more employers and jobs.

“We will expand the requirement to advertise jobs on the national Jobs Bank before EP (employment pass) application to cover more employers.”

From 1 Jul, the MOM will broaden the FCF advertising requirement to firms with 10 or more employees and job positions that pay a fixed monthly salary of less than S$15,000.

Currently, employers are required to advertise job vacancies for 14 days on the Jobs Bank before submitting EP applications, and firms with 10 to 25 employees and jobs that pay from S$12,000 to below S$15,000 a month are exempted from the FCF advertising requirement.



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