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Singapore Government Extends Hiring Scheme to March 2022

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced that a scheme to encourage firms to hire more local workers by subsidising their wages will be extended for another six months until March of next year. The qualifying window for the next phase of the JGI will now run from October this year to March next year to aid recovery amid an enhancing labour market and assist employers in expanding their local hiring. The Ministry acknowledged that as conditions improve during the pandemic, support levels will be reduced.

During the first nine months of the programme’s implementation, 58,000 businesses hired nearly 400,000 locals to expand their local workforce with assistance from the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI). This represented an increase of approximately 128,000 JGI-supported hires as of February 2021, as reported by MOM in July 2021. Almost all of these businesses (99 per cent) were small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Approximately half of the businesses hired one to two local employees, while the remainder hired more.

Employers who are JGI-eligible have continued to hire from a diverse pool of job seekers, including the unemployed, those from various industries, and mature workers. The programme continued to encourage hiring in a variety of industries. Four in ten remained in growth industries (such as wholesale trade, professional services, and information and communications), while one in five were in the recovering food services and retail industries.

Moreover, the government will continue to provide strong support to employers willing to hire and reskill mid-career employees. Employers can use the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Pack to access Career Conversion Programmes (CCPs) under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package, which provides support for up to 90% training and salary costs.

The ministry encourages job seekers to remain resilient, to remain open to new opportunities, and to consider fewer familiar roles. Workforce Singapore (WSG) and NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute, as well as its appointed SGUnited Jobs and Skills Placement Partner, can help job seekers with their job search.

Recognising the significance of the recruitment process during COVID-19, VITAL, the Central Agency for Shared Services in the Singapore Public Service has launched a recruitment tech pilot programme using a software recruiting company’s AI Recruiter solution to streamline its recruitment efficiency and increase hiring outcomes. The pilot uses the AI Recruiter platform from the software recruiting company to create a ready pool of qualified candidates, improve candidate-job matching capabilities, and reduce time and cost to hire within the public sector.

Within the Singapore Public Service, VITAL is in a unique position to experiment with emerging technologies such as AI and automation. They anticipate a more effective and efficient hiring process with a capable recruitment system and a ready database of qualified candidates. The recruitment solution aims to enhance the existing recruitment processes through:

  • Inclusive hiring features such as resume and personal information masking for objective shortlisting
  • Automated candidate screening & matching powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) for objective and unbiased selections
  • Hiring automation via Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
  • Talent pooling capabilities to improve candidate experience and shorten hiring lead time
  • Enhance candidate engagement & virtual assessment capabilities

Ultimately, with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic spreading throughout the world, the economic impact of the government shutdown will affect nearly every industry, business, and job position in the near future. Government projects aimed at providing job assistance to Singaporeans will not only benefit the unemployed but will also contribute to the country’s economic growth.

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