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10,000 jobs to be created over a year, $800 a month to be given to those who lose job amid Covid-19 outbreak

SINGAPORE – Some 10,000 jobs will be created over the next one year to provide employment for locals amid the downturn, while those who lose their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak can receive a monthly cash grant of $800 for three months.

The unemployment assistance will be for low- and middle-income workers.

A new programme to help fresh graduates entering the job market will also support up to 8,000 traineeships across both large and small enterprises, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said in Parliament on Thursday (March 26).

“First-time job seekers may be concerned about the current job market. These include our students who have just graduated or are graduating from ITE (Institute of Technical Education), polytechnics and universities this year,” he said.

Companies that offer traineeships targeted at local first-time job seekers this year will be able to receive funding from government agency Workforce Singapore under the new SGUnited Traineeship programme.

This will include science and technology traineeships in research and development labs, deep-tech start-ups, accelerators and incubators, said DPM Heng, who is also Finance Minister, in announcing the Supplementary Budget.

More details will be given by the Ministry of Manpower soon, he said.

Also, the SGUnited Jobs initiative to create about 10,000 jobs over the next one year will start with the public sector recruiting for longer-term roles in essential services as well as short-term, temporary jobs.

“Our agencies have been planning our manpower needs early, and there is a range of jobs which we need to fill in emerging areas. We will accelerate hiring plans to fill these roles, while giving our people meaningful employment opportunities,” said Mr Heng.

These include roles in areas such as social services, early childhood education and infocomm technology.

Temporary jobs to handle the increase in Covid-19-related operations will also be available in roles such as health declaration assistants and temporary management support officers, as well as transport ambassadors, as announced earlier this week.

Together with the Singapore Business Federation and other trade associations and chambers, private-sector job opportunities will also be identified in firms recruiting in preparation for the eventual economic recovery, or to cope with disruptions to their labour supply.

An SGUnited Jobs virtual career fair will be launched on Friday with more than 2,200 job vacancies in short-term temporary jobs that are immediately available.

As the impact of Covid-19 on the economy deepens, some workers will lose their jobs or see their incomes significantly reduced, noted DPM Heng, announcing several measures to tide them over.

Low- and middle-income employees who are retrenched or lose their contracts early as a result of Covid-19 can receive a cash grant of $800 a month for three months while they search for a job or attend training.

This applies to Singaporeans and permanent residents aged 16 and above with a monthly household income of up to $10,000 or per capita household income of up to $3,100 a month before becoming unemployed. It does not cover those who were on internships or who are self-employed.

They must also live in a property with an annual value of up to $21,000, and not currently receive ComCare Short-to-Medium Term Assistance or ComCare Interim Assistance.

Applications will be open from May to September this year via social service offices (SSOs), while those who need financial assistance in April can contact SSOs or community centres to apply for assistance from a new Temporary Relief Fund.

In addition, the Government will exercise more flexibility when considering applications for the social assistance scheme ComCare during this period.

A total of 63,900 residents were unemployed as of December last year, according to Ministry of Manpower data.

DPM Heng said a total of $145 million will be set aside for these schemes and increased flexibility for ComCare applications.

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