In his 2021 Budget Statement, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat announced various support measures to help workers emerge stronger from the pandemic.
While 2020’s Budgets were targeted at broad-based emergency support, this year’s Budget will focus on accelerating structural adaptations, to equip our businesses and workers with deep and future-ready capabilities.
Over the next three years, the Government will allocate $24 billion to enable our firms and workers to emerge stronger. This effort builds on the momentum of the transformation push started five years ago, when the Industry Transformation Maps were launched.
JOBS SUPPORT SCHEME
The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) was launched in 2020 to protect jobs and help firms retain local workers. The Government has committed over $25 billion to the JSS, and supported over 150,000 employers for up to 17 months. The current tranche will continue to cover wages up to March 2021 for most sectors.
Here’s how the JSS will be extended:
Firms in Tier 1 sectors (Aviation, Aerospace, Tourism):
Firms in Tier 2 sectors (e.g. Retail, Arts and Culture, Food Services, Built Environment):
SGUNITED JOBS AND SKILLS PACKAGE
The SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package was launched in 2020, to tackle the anticipated labour market fallout from COVID-19. As of end-2020, nearly 76,000 individuals have been placed into jobs, traineeships, attachments, and skills training. Under the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI), an estimated 110,000 local jobseekers were collectively hired within two months from the implementation of the scheme.
Here’s how the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package will be extended:
Additional $5.4 billion for a second tranche of SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package
Support for SGUnited Skills, SGUnited Traineeships, SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programmes will be extended
The next phase of the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package will support the hiring of 200,000 locals this year, and provide up to 35,000 traineeship and training opportunities.
ENHANCING SALARIES OF HEALTHCARE WORKERS
Beyond the pandemic, the healthcare sector is set to grow, as our people age. This sector provides many good skilled jobs that are noble, meaningful, and make a difference to Singaporeans.
The Government will enhance the salaries of our nurses and other healthcare workers, such as support care staff. This will apply to workers across public healthcare institutions, and publicly-funded community hospitals and long-term care service providers.
STRENGTHENING OUR LOCAL WORKFORCE
While some Singaporeans are concerned about our reliance on foreign manpower, many businesses and trade associations have found it difficult to hire locals.
The Government will continue to support the employment of Singaporeans, while we deepen our capabilities and promote capability transfer and moderate our reliance on foreign labour:
Extend Wage Credit Scheme to support wage increments for companies to retain and attract locals
Extend Capability Transfer Programme to support foreign-to-local skills transfer
Reduce Manufacturing S Pass Sub-Dependency Ratio Ceiling (Sub-DRC) to develop deep skills in local workforce, and reduce reliance on foreign labour
For more on Budget 2021, visit www.singaporebudget.gov.sg