Singapore Budget 2018: New scheme to train top execs to tap S-E Asian opportunities

A new Career Trial scheme will give lower-and middle-income workers higher funding to try out new jobs and assess new careers amid the fast-changing work environment.
A new Career Trial scheme will give lower-and middle-income workers higher funding to try out new jobs and assess new careers amid the fast-changing work environment.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Local business leaders will receive help from a new training scheme to build networks and grow their companies' presence in South-east Asia. The Asean Leadership Programme was announced by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday, when he also highlighted more employment support for lower-and middle-income workers.

Workers need to develop deep skills to take Singapore forward and maintain the economy's competitiveness as Asia is poised to offer more opportunities, he said.

"There must be depth in whatever we do because this gives us the foundation to innovate, and the ability to compete," he added.

The Government will continue to work with companies to help workers stay relevant and develop cross-cultural skills, he said.

Corporate leaders, in particular, need to have the know-how to drive the transformation of their businesses and industries, an expertise the new Asean scheme aims to develop in them.

An International Enterprise (IE) Singapore spokesman said more details on it will be given in April, ahead of its expected launch in the second half of the year.

The scheme aims to arm top-level managers with in-depth understanding of business cultures, emerging opportunities and business strategies in Asean.

 
 
 

It is part of the Economic Development Board's SkillsFuture Leadership Development Initiative, which aims to expand the skills of potential leaders for global roles. Firms have committed to train almost 200 Singaporeans under the initiative since last year.

The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and Singapore Management University will jointly introduce in the second quarter of this year a pilot initiative to help leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises transform their companies.

To help lower-and middle-income workers, a new Career Trial scheme will give them higher funding to try out new jobs and assess new careers amid the fast-changing work environment.

This is an upgrade of the existing Work Trial scheme, which pays rank-and-file workers a training allowance for up to three months and gives them a bonus if they stay at the job for at least three months after the trial.

Mr Heng said more details on Career Trial will be given in the upcoming debate on the Manpower Ministry's budget.

An update will also be given during the debate on the Capability Transfer Programme, which subsidises the cost companies incur in bringing in foreign experts to transfer skills to local trainers and trainees.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2018, with the headline 'New scheme to train top execs to tap S-E Asian opportunities'. Print Edition | Subscribe