Employers should hire and train mature workers, eliminate bias

The country aims to tap into the Singapore workforce, instead of relaxing its foreign worker policy, says minister.
By: | January 14, 2021

Employers in Singapore should utilise government schemes to hire and train mature workers, instead of harbouring a bias against them, said Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Doing this will benefit both workers and firms against the backdrop of a tight labour market, he said at a forum on jobs and skills organised by the Institute of Policy Studies.

“We’re not going to loosen up our foreign worker policy – quite the opposite,” said the minister, adding that instead the plan is to “make the most of our Singapore workforce”, according to The Straits Times.

“You’ll never get a perfect match of skills, except for a certain, very few, specialised jobs,” he said.  “In general, you hire someone, you train them up, and they have to adapt. It can be done.”

The minister added that the government has focused its incentives like the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) towards mature workers. 

READ: Singapore enterprises received US$13.2 billion worth of loans in 2020

Under this scheme, businesses that raise their headcount of local workers are eligible for a subsidy of up to 25% of their salaries for a year, subject to a maximum ceiling. The government will also co-pay salaries of workers aged 40 and above, up to 50%.