Parliament: More opportunities for mid-career switch to healthcare jobs

The healthcare sector hopes to attract 9,000 more people in the next three years.
The healthcare sector hopes to attract 9,000 more people in the next three years. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Last year, about 700 mid-career workers found new jobs in healthcare - a sector that hopes to attract 9,000 more people in the coming three years.

About 300 were placed through the Ministry of Manpower's Adapt and Grow initiative to help mid-career professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMET) find jobs.

The other 400 were recruited through job fairs organised by the Agency for Integrated Care.

Responding to Nominated Member of Parliament K. Thanaletchimi, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said the ministry will enhance its professional conversion programme to recruit more mid-career Singaporeans as nurses.

There will be more funds to provide such nurses with professional and on-the-job training.

The Health Ministry is also introducing overseas master's scholarships for non-nursing graduates to pursue nursing studies.

Since 2009, this programme has admitted more than 400 people who want to make a career switch to become nurses, physio and occupational therapists, diagnostic radiographers and dental surgery assistants.

Mr Gan said 82 per cent of the 223 recruited between 2009 and  2011 have completed their training and were successfully placed into a healthcare job.

Out of those, 92 per cent have stayed on after finishing the minimum service period required.

There is also a programme to help existing non-clinical workers in healthcare institutions with scholarships to train to become nurses or allied healthcare professionals.

Mr Gan said there are also "upgrading opportunities" for enrolled nurses to become higher-level registered nurses. They need to do a three year polytechnic course to gain better skills.

More than 750 enrolled nurses took up this opportunity over the past three years.