Schemes to help mid-career switch

Emilena Abdul Rahman (right), a career coach in Singapore Workforce (WSG), helping her client in taking up the Professional Conversion Programme.
Emilena Abdul Rahman (right), a career coach in Singapore Workforce (WSG), helping her client in taking up the Professional Conversion Programme.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

Mid-career professionals keen on joining the burgeoning healthcare sector can look to a range of professional conversion programmes (PCPs) to help them make the switch.

Among them are programmes for those who would like to become nurses, dental surgery assistants, diagnostic radiographers, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

These PCPs are jointly offered by the Health Ministry and Workforce Singapore, in partnership with post-secondary educational institutions. Besides sponsorship for their course fees, trainees get monthly salary support or training allowance.

Those graduating from the PCPs for nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and diagnostic radiographers will also receive a career transition bonus after the training.

This year, the ministry announced it will increase funding for nursing PCPs so that employers will need to pay only 10 per cent of the training cost. Currently, they may have to pay up to 50 per cent. Employers will also get up to $16,000 for on-the-job training for each nurse who made a mid-career switch.

Former nurses who have not practised for at least a year can ease their way back into work through the Return to Nursing scheme. The scheme was launched in 2000, and enhanced last year with the aim of getting former nurses back to work in the community care sector, in places such as nursing homes and home-care organisations.

The upgraded scheme introduces an up-to-$5,000 bonus for former nurses. Returning nurses will take a refresher course, and those joining the community care sector take elective modules.

Meanwhile, the Agency for Integrated Care has a Senior Management Associate Scheme to attract PMETs into the community care sector. There will be an induction and training programme.

Applicants interested in these programmes can visit www.carecareers.sg or call 1800-650- 6060.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2017, with the headline 'Schemes to help mid-career switch'. Print Edition | Subscribe