NTUC Labour MP asked MOM if employment assistance schemes are effective

By August 6, 2019Current, Work

TL;DR – About 30,000 Singaporeans found jobs through Adapt and Grow initiative, and more than half were 40 and above.

One of NTUC’s Labour MPs, Zainal Sapari, posted an interesting exchange on his Facebook page. It’s of him posing a couple of work- and worker-related questions to the Minister for Manpower. He didn’t indicate source or any other context, but since Parliament is in session, I will assume Zainal had tabled his questions in Parliament.

Essentially he was trying to find out the effectiveness of the Government’s employment assistance schemes targeted at various age groups.



What did Labour MP Zainal Sapari ask?

  1. In the last two years, what has been the average and median length of time for workers in the different age groups to secure employment?
  2. Have the various employment assistance schemes provided to help workers in these different age groups to secure employment been effective?

How did MOM answer?

The Minister for Manpower, Mrs Josephine Teo, took on the questions.

Minister for Manpower Mrs Josephine Teo (via)

On the duration of unemployment:

  • The median duration of unemployment among all residents aged 15 years and over was eight weeks in 2017 and 2018.
  • In general, the median duration of unemployment rises with age, from about five weeks in 2018 for those aged 15 to 24 years, to 13 weeks in 2018 for those aged 50 years and above.

On the number of A&G success cases:

  • In 2018, about 30,000 jobseekers found jobs through the Adapt and Grow (A&G) initiative.
  • This is an increase of about 20% compared to 2017.
  • Of these, close to 16,000 were aged 40 and above, with nearly 9,000 aged 50 and above.
READ MORE:  Diverse Voices & Expertise: Nine Individuals Chosen as Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs) in Singapore

On extra support for mature and older jobseekers:

  • The A&G initiative offers enhanced rates of training or wage support to employers that hire jobseekers aged 40 and above.
  • For instance, the Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) help workers to reskill for new career opportunities as economic transformation continues apace.
  • PCPs provide training and salary support to help jobseekers reskill and move into new occupations or sectors, with higher support for those aged 40 and above.
  • Another A&G programme is the Career Support Programme (CSP), which provides salary support to encourage employers to hire mature retrenched PMETs.

On whether employment assistance schemes have been effective:

  • Overall, the Adapt and Grow initiative has produced encouraging results.
  • In 2018, close to 5,000 individuals (including mature and older jobseekers) were placed through PCPs.

On whether the jobseekers remained in employment:

  • Most PCP participants did well, with about nine in 10 remaining employed 18 months after being placed.
  • About two-thirds of them received higher wages than before due to the skills they had acquired.
  • As for CSP, over 1,200 individuals were placed in 2018.
  • About seven in 10 CSP participants remained in employment 18 months after being placed.

On how to do better:

While MOM is heartened by the good progress of A&G, they are also working to do better in three areas:

  • First, to strengthen A&G’s outreach so as to raise awareness of the support available to jobseekers.
  • Second, to continue to monitor the outcomes of existing programmes, and review or enhance them as necessary to improve their effectiveness.
  • Third, to move upstream to help at-risk workers to stay relevant and re-skill for new roles.
  • MOM and WSG will continue to monitor labour market outcomes for workers in each age group, and will work closely with our tripartite partners to help Singaporeans secure good jobs through the A&G initiative.
READ MORE:  Our Invisible Defences: Of Black Swans, Boiled Frogs, and Sacred Cows

Do you need help looking for a job?

Overall, it does look like the employment assistance schemes are relatively effective in helping fellow Singaporeans land jobs.

In case you’re not familiar with what the Adapt and Grow initiative is, it’s basically a suite of employment facilitation services such as career coaching, employability workshops, job fairs and job matching. They also provide a suite of employment support programmes to help jobseekers take up new jobs and careers.

These services are supported by Workforce Singapore (WSG) and NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i).


Under the Adapt and Grow initiative, there are various programmes.

Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) are career conversion programmes targeted at Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs), including mid-career switchers, to undergo skills conversion and move into new occupations or sectors that have good prospects and opportunities for progression.

Career Support Programme (CSP) is a salary support programme to encourage employers to hire eligible Singapore Citizen Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs). Singaporean PMETS who are made redundant or unemployed and actively looking for jobs for six months or more can take on new jobs paying a gross monthly salary of at least $4,000 ($3,600 for SMEs).

There is also the P-Max aimed at placement at SMEs, and also Career Trial which helps jobseekers try out short-term jobs, either full-time or part-time.

If you’re looking for a job, or if you’re considering a mid-career switch, why not go try out the services at WSG and NTUC’s e2i?


(Featured image via)


Don't be selfish... Click here to share this on Facebook!

If you like what you read, follow us on Facebook to get the latest updates.

Qiqi Wong

Author Qiqi Wong

Insert pretentious crap about myself here.

More posts by Qiqi Wong

Leave a Reply