$1b programme for growth sectors to hire local workers amid Covid-19 pandemic

Despite the recession, sectors such as biomedical sciences, financial services, and infocommunications and technology continue to need more workers, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday.

The healthcare and long-term care sectors are also hiring. Likewise, some companies in food and beverage manufacturing are growing and innovating.

To support firms to increase their headcount of local workers over the next six months, including in growth sectors, the Government is launching a new $1 billion Jobs Growth Incentive programme.

It will see the Government co-paying up to 25 per cent of the salaries of new local hires for one year. The co-payment increases to a maximum of 50 per cent for workers aged 40 and older, subject to a cap.

The move follows through on the special attention that has been paid to middle-aged and mature workers during this pandemic, many of whom would benefit from retraining and upskilling.

This group also juggles multiple personal commitments.

Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister, stresses the need for businesses to transform, even as he noted that start-ups are also contributing to economic growth and efforts against Covid-19.

To further spur innovation and entrepreneurship, $150 million will be set aside to enhance the Startup SG Founder programme in phases.

“We will raise the start-up capital grant and continue to provide mentorship,” Mr Heng said.

The programme is for first-time entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry will provide more details later this week.

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