New work trial scheme to help unemployed PMETs return to work after long break

Office workers during lunch hour at Raffles Place. Under a new scheme by the National Trades Union Congress U Family unit, employers and PMET jobseekers can try out a work arrangement for up to six months.
Office workers during lunch hour at Raffles Place. Under a new scheme by the National Trades Union Congress U Family unit, employers and PMET jobseekers can try out a work arrangement for up to six months.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) who have beenout of the workforce for at least two years will get a boost with a new grant for employers who train them.

The National Union Trades Congress (NTUC) U Family unit launched a work trial scheme on Thursday (July 27), which will start accepting applications on Sep 1 this year.

Under the scheme, employers and jobseekers can try out a work arrangement for up to six months. During this time, the company must train the worker and pay them a monthly training allowance of at least $2,500. Statutory board Workforce Singapore (WSG) will give employers a grant of $1,500 a month to subsidise this amount.

If the trial period works out well, employers are encouraged to place the new staff in a permanent position or contract position of at least 12 months. Employers who retain staff under the programme for at least three continuous months after the work trial will receive a one-off retention bonus of $3,000 from the Government.

The bonus will be given to the employer nine months after the start of the work trial.

The scheme is part of a Returners Programme NTUC has been piloting since June. The Returners Programme aims to help PMETs return to the workforce after a long period away through refreshing their technical and job search skills as well as helping them to network with peers and potential employers.

Labour MP Desmond Choo, who is NTUC's spokesman for women and family issues, said there is immense talent in the pool of PMETs who took a break from their careers to pay undivided attention to family and personal matters.

"Much more can be done to value the contributions and sacrifices made by these professionals, so that they can make a seamless transition back to the workforce," he said in a statement.

WSG chief executive Tan Choon Shian also said the work trial scheme complements the Government's push towards a more inclusive workforce.

Singaporeans who are aged 30 and above and have at least a diploma qualification, or were previously in a PMET role, can apply for the work trial scheme from Sep 1 this year, by contacting the NTUC U Family unit at returners@ntuc.org.sg.

Employers interested to participate can approach WSG's Careers Connect at 6883-5885 or https://portal.ssg-wsg.gov.sg.