MP Gerald Giam

Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song asked the Minister for Manpower whether the Ministry will consider the introduction of a Redundancy Insurance Scheme to ease financial pressure on workers who have been made redundant as they search for new jobs and which complements existing programmes for retraining and re-employment.

Dr Tan See Leng: We note the Member’s call to introduce a Redundancy Insurance Scheme, which echoes the recommendation of the PME Taskforce, helmed by NTUC and SNEF, for the Government to look into unemployment support. We have been studying how to provide better support to displaced workers. Let me first explain the support available today.

Today, workers who have been made redundant are supported through the tripartite Retrenchment Taskforce, which follows up with every notified retrenchment by proactively reaching out to the affected workers and offering them employment assistance. This includes providing information kits on career resources, briefings on available employment facilitation and one-on-one coaching by career coaches from Workforce Singapore and NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute. Re-entry rates of retrenched workers are encouraging. Based on latest available data, the six-month re-entry rate amongst all retrenched residents was 66% in the second quarter of 2022, higher than it was a year ago.

Retrenched workers who want to reskill for new careers can also tap on Career Conversion Programmes (CCPs) which provide course fee and salary support of up to 90% to move into new occupations or sectors that have good prospects and opportunities for progression. Those who are aged 40 and over can tap on the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways programme, or SGUP, which provides full-time attachments to allow employers to better assess their job-fit, while providing them with training and industry experience. About seven in 10 CCP participants earn higher wages compared to their last drawn salaries.

We recognise that the support available today can be strengthened in the light of an uncertain and rapidly changing world. We are therefore looking at ways to provide better support for displaced workers, including those who have been made redundant. We have to structure this carefully, in order to help displaced workers to bounce back into a job. This requires motivating them to be persistent while enabling them to be effective in their job search. 

In summary, workers who are made redundant will receive support through the tripartite Retrenchment Taskforce, and can tap on CCPs and the SGUP programme to reskill for new careers. We are reviewing the support system available to them, including consulting the Labour Movement. We will provide an update when ready. 

Ministry of Manpower
9 November 2022

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