Parliament Briefs : 10,000 got help to secure new jobs

10,000 got help to secure new jobs

About 10,000 job seekers landed a job in the first half of this year after seeking help from the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) .

About 4,000 of them are professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) while 6,000 are rank and file workers, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said yesterday. These workers make up two-thirds of the 15,000 job seekers that WDA and e2i helped through their career centres and the new Adapt and Grow support programmes.

Mr Lim noted that improvements to employment assistance schemes, such as the professional conversion programme and career support programme, and more job fairs and career workshops by both agencies, helped the 10,000 find jobs. He gave the update to Ms Foo Mee Har (West Coast GRC) who had asked about the effectiveness of support schemes in helping Singaporeans, particularly higher-skilled workers, get jobs.

55% of maids get a day off each week: Survey

Almost all foreign domestic workers, or 97.5 per cent, have at least one day off each month, according to a Manpower Ministry (MOM) survey of about 1,000 maids last year. Only about 55 per cent had a weekly rest day, although this was up from 13 per cent in 2010. The ministry introduced a rule three years ago requiring employers to give their helpers one day off every week or payment in lieu.

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say gave these figures yesterday in a written response to Nominated MP Kok Heng Leun's request for an update on the policy.

Mr Lim said that there were around 40 complaints about rest days received by MOM from 2014 to last year, but no violation was found after the ministry's investigations.

9 licences issued for big worker dorms

All 57 large foreign worker dormitories here have applied for licences under the Foreign Employee Dormitories Act, which took effect on Jan 1 this year. The Act regulates dorms with at least 1,000 beds and dorm bosses were given six months to apply for licences to operate. Nine licences have been issued so far, said Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say yesterday in a written reply to a question by Nominated MP Randolph Tan.

The remaining applications are being processed and no licences have been revoked, said Mr Lim. "The ministry will conduct routine and ad hoc inspections at all licensed dormitories to ensure that the operators abide by the licence conditions," he said.

MAS to enhance bank security guidelines

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is working with the Singapore Police Force and Association of Banks in Singapore to enhance best practices in physical security, after a Canadian allegedly succeeded in robbing the Standard Chartered Bank branch in Holland Village last month.

MAS and the police have also reminded banks to conduct regular threat assessments and enhance security measures where necessary. These include making sure that panic alarms are in working order, and deploying armed security personnel to areas of high risk, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shamuragatnam said in a written reply.

Ms Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC) had asked if MAS had required banks to upgrade their branch security protocols after the robbery.

Joanna Seow

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2016, with the headline 'Parliament Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe