Fortitude Budget: Government will spend $2 billion to create jobs and traineeships
SGUnited Jobs and Skills scheme to also provide hiring incentives, expand training
For final-year university student Grace Lim, looking for a job in a climate where economies around the world are being battered by the coronavirus pandemic, is a waste of effort.
The psychology student said: "I did some job searches, but I didn't really send out anything because I think it's just too difficult to get a job now."
Ms Lim would rather upgrade her skills so she can be more employable when the job market picks up, which is why she supports the increased traineeships unveiled in the fourth stimulus package this year.
Called the Fortitude Budget, the $33 billion supplementary package aims to provide support for households, frontline agencies, as well as workers and businesses affected by border closures and safe distancing measures and help them pull through the Covid-19 pandemic.
A $2 billion package will be set aside to create close to 100,000 job and training opportunities, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday.
The SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package will comprise four components: creating jobs, traineeships, expanding training capacity, and providing hiring incentives to employers.
Together with the earlier Unity, Resilience and Solidarity Budgets, the Government is dedicating close to $100 billion to support Singaporeans in the battle against Covid-19.
Speaking in Parliament, Mr Heng said: "While we will try to preserve jobs in the midst of this crisis, we cannot protect every job. However, you have my assurance that the Government will protect every worker."
The public sector will offer 15,000 jobs in early childhood education, healthcare and long-term care, as well as jobs for short-term needs such as healthcare declaration assistants and swabbers in the Covid-19 fight.
Government agencies will also work with businesses to create 25,000 jobs.
The Government aims to provide 25,000 traineeship positions this year, of which 21,000 will be from the SGUnited Traineeships programme.
Another 4,000 places will be for mid-career job seekers under a new SGUnited Mid-Career Traineeships scheme.
"We understand that many are worried about their job prospects," Mr Heng said, adding the scheme will specifically cater to the needs of mid-career individuals to learn new skills or embark on new careers.
A new SGUnited Skills programme will expand training capacity for about 30,000 job seekers.
They will be able to take training courses full-time at subsidised rates and receive a monthly allowance of $1,200 during their training.
Singapore Human Resources Institute executive director Alvin Goh said the creation of jobs is a big boost in the current conservative hiring market.
In particular, he said the training opportunities will provide benefits, such as the opportunity for networking among industry players.
"These are invaluable intangibles that go beyond the monthly pay check and will put the candidates in a better position when the economy picks up."