Thousands of jobs on offer as start-ups get more support

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Manpower Minister says the opportunities are 'wide-ranging and diverse'

Thousands of jobs in start-up companies are on offer as they diversify and get help to spread their wings.

"These opportunities offered by start-ups are wide-ranging and diverse," said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo yesterday, during a visit to The Greenhouse at Singapore Management University's Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

She highlighted that the start-up scene in Singapore is brimming with potential and is a source of job growth that can potentially expand more with support from the Jobs Growth Incentive, a scheme which provides support to employers that can grow their local headcount over the next six months.

Over 4,600 jobs and 860 traineeships are on offer from more than 1,600 start-ups as part of the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in its weekly jobs situation report yesterday. This package aims to support close to 100,000 job seekers this year.

Yesterday's update was the first in a series of regular updates the ministries of Trade and Industry and Manpower are providing on sectors of Singapore's economy. The start-up sector is part of a segment of companies with good potential and growing markets, which the Government will support to create better jobs.

As part of this drive, the Startup SG Founder Programme, which helps first-time entrepreneurs get business ideas up and running, has been enhanced.

Besides a start-up capital grant of $50,000, up from the current $30,000, a venture building programme that provides participants with a monthly stipend while they tackle industry problems has also been added to the scheme.

Start-ups are also helping to create jobs, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.

Up to $150 million has been set aside for enhancements to the Startup SG Founder programme in phases.

Mr Chan said: "We are determined to grow a new generation of companies from Singapore to serve not just the Singapore market, but also the regional and global markets. Now, in every crisis, there are always opportunities for us to grow a new generation of companies. And this crisis is no different."

While these efforts started before the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has accelerated many initiatives to help start-ups grow and penetrate new markets during this crisis, he added. These companies have already widened their range to enter new fields.

The start-ups are offering both tech-related roles and less conventional ones like animators, said Mrs Teo.

"These are not the usual roles that we would think of, and job seekers may have to put in a bit more effort to understand what these roles entail, perhaps get in touch with the employers to see if there is a good match in skills, or if the gaps can be bridged with a little effort," she added.

MOM also noted in its report that about 6,300 employers submitted notifications on cost-saving measures to the ministry between March and July.

Around 224,800 local and foreign employees were affected, with about half in the accommodation and food services, construction, as well as wholesale and retail trade sectors.