Work permit holders whose permits are expiring within this year will be allowed to renew their work permits for up two years even as they do not meet the renewal criteria, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced on Friday (13 August).
The Government is introducing several measures to help companies in the construction, marine shipyard and process (CMP) sectors retain workers.
The move comes as the number of work permit holders in such sectors fell by around 60,000 in 2020.
Specifically, work permit holders whose permits are expiring within this year will be allowed to renew their work permits for up two years even as they do not meet the renewal criteria, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced on Friday (13 August).
This includes work permit holders reaching the maximum employment age or those reaching the maximum period of employment, reported Channel News Asia (CNA).
Companies also need not maintain at least 10% of their work permit holders as higher-skilled workers.
Starting July, the in-principle approvals’ validity of all work pass holders – including those with S Passes, Work Permits and Employment Passes – who are unable to enter the city-state due to border control measures, will also be extended by up to a year.
Moreover, the Government will partner with the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL) to introduce a retention scheme for experienced construction work permit holders who saw their previous employment terminated.
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The six-month retention scheme will run from 1 September 2021 to 28 February 2022.
Migrant workers whose permits have expired or have been cancelled, and wish to continue working within the city-state, are eligible for the scheme.
These workers will be allowed to stay for 30 days to look for new employment, with SCAL providing food, housing and other necessities.
If the worker was unable to find a new job during this period, SCAL will arrange for the return of the migrant worker to his come country and bear the repatriation cost.
SCAL president Ng Yek Meng is confident of finding new jobs for the workers given that the market is “really, really short of workers”.
“With these measures in place, we hope to support firms in the CMP sectors to ease the immediate manpower concerns due to tighter border restrictions,” said Manpower Minister Tan See Leng as quoted by CNA.
“Nevertheless, in the longer term, I seriously urge all firms, and I earnestly hope all of them will continue to transform their businesses, to reduce their manpower reliance, to tapping on technology and redesign the jobs to attract more locals.”
He explained that the measures are short-term, intended to help fill the gaps in certain industries for the time being.
Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this story, email: [email protected]