Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Paid work trial scheme to help PMET jobseekers

SINGAPORE — From September, professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) who have been out of the workforce for at least two years may get a monthly training allowance of at least S$2,500 when they undergo a work trial of up to six months with an employer.

Paid work trial scheme to help PMET jobseekers

To qualify for the initiative, jobseekers must be Singapore citizens aged 30 years and above, hold a diploma, degree or above, or previously worked in a PMET role. They must also have been out of the workforce for two years or longer. TODAY file photo

SINGAPORE — From September, professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) who have been out of the workforce for at least two years may get a monthly training allowance of at least S$2,500 when they undergo a work trial of up to six months with an employer.

The new scheme, called Returner Work Trial, was announced by the Labour Movement on Thursday (July 27) to help more former PMETs re-enter the workforce.

The workers’ training allowance will be split between government agency Workforce Singapore — which will pay a fixed amount of S$1,500 — and the employer, which will contribute at least S$1,000 per month.

To qualify, jobseekers must be Singapore citizens aged 30 years and above. They must hold at least a diploma, or have held a PMET role previously. 

During the work trial, employers will offer structured on-the-job training, and are strongly encouraged to offer flexible work arrangements. Employers then decide whether to offer the worker a permanent position or a contract position of 12 months and above. 

As an added incentive, employers will receive a one-off retention bonus of S$3,000 if they retain a worker in a permanent position or a contract position of 12 months or above, for at least three continuous months after the work trial.

So far, 22 companies with 80 job vacancies have indicated interest.

(Infographic explaining the Returner Work Trial. Source: NTUC) 

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) hopes to open doors for out-of-work PMETs to return to the workforce, said Mr Desmond Choo, its director of industry transformation and productivity. “PMETs who took a break from their careers just to provide their undivided attention to family and personal matters should be recognised by society and employers alike,” he said at a career fair for PMETs held at The Working Capitol, a co-working and events space, on Thursday.

Former IT consultant Roseline Ruba, 36, could be among those who benefit from the scheme. She left her job four years ago to look after her son, who was three at the time, and is looking for a role with flexible hours.

The six-month training period will provide the time to acquaint herself with the latest technologies, said Mrs Ruba, who is open to a position lower than her previous job.

“We cannot have (the best of both worlds), so we have to change our priorities and expectations to accommodate our preferences,” she said.

Also at the fair was former senior account manager Gwenn Ang, 46, who quit at the peak of her career in 2000 to start a family. “The job market is getting worse, so as long as I put myself back into the job market, I’m okay to take anything,” she said. 

Her job hunt in the past year only landed her temporary positions such as a receptionist for one month and a part-time barista for two months. 

Both jobseekers had no complaints about the S$2,500 monthly training allowance.

IT management and manpower services firm Xcellink said the scheme could enable them to tap a pool of jobseekers with skills that fresh graduates may not have.

“They may have that freshness, enthusiasm, (and be) very seasoned in dealing with people,” said Mr Mohd Azhar Ramalan, Xcellink’s executive director of business operations. He said portion of training allowance that employers have to fork out was “fair”.

Ms Sim Choo Lee, head of human resources department at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa), called the scheme a “bonus for employers”. 

She said: “I think if there are candidates that do well, we at Nafa will be open to paying beyond (the S$1,000) and to pay a more suitable and reasonable sum, especially if we know that they have the experience we need and so forth.”

Other recent efforts by the Government to help PMETs include the involvement of foreign employment agencies to help this group of jobseekers, as well as the enhancement from April of the Career Support Programme, a salary support initiative, to encourage more small and medium companies to hire eligible Singaporean PMETs.

Employers and jobseekers keen to participate in Returner Work Trial may email returners [at] ntuc.org.sg, or approach Workforce Singapore’s Careers Connect at 6883 5885 or http://portal.ssg-wsg.gov.sg.

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa