Entry requirements to be streamlined for new construction, marine shipyard and process sectors workers
SINGAPORE: To help ease the labour shortage in the construction, marine shipyard and process (CMP) sectors, authorities said on Sunday (Mar 6) they will streamline the entry requirements for workers in these sectors.
Workers from these sectors currently arrive through two entry lanes. The first is an industry-led end-to-end process for workers from certain countries and the second – known as the Work Pass Holder General Lane – is based on prevailing border measures for other countries.
All workers from the CMP sectors must be fully vaccinated before arriving in Singapore, a requirement that has been in place since Nov 1, 2021.
In the joint press release by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Economic Development Board (EDB), from March 13, the industry-led process will be streamlined into a shorter two-day pre-departure preparatory programme (PDPP) in the source country.
After arriving in Singapore, workers will, as per current requirements, serve a three-day stay-home notice and at the same time, be onboarded at designated MOM centres.
"This approach retains some of the existing health protocols (e.g. pre-departure testing) under the industry-led process, which succeeded in reducing imported cases even during surges in COVID-19 cases at source countries," said the authorities, adding that the duration of the PDPP may be adjusted, depending on the global COVID-19 situation.
Going forward, the PDPP is intended to be the main channel for new CMP work permit holders, the authorities said.
From May 1, each vaccinated new CMP work permit holder with in-principle approval will enter through only one specified lane.
In Bangladesh, India and Myanmar, where the PDPP process will be available from Mar 13, work permit holders from these countries will undergo the PDPP process there.
In countries where PDPP is not available, workers will continue to enter Singapore via the Work Pass Holder General Lane where they will be subjected to prevailing border measures and complete an onboarding programme where applicable upon arrival.
"All existing CMP WPHs (work permit holders) holding issued work permits will continue to enter Singapore via the Work Pass Holder General Lane. Entry approvals under this lane will be prioritised for them," said BCA, MOM and EDB.
"This streamlined process will help the CMP sectors accelerate the entry of necessary workers for ongoing projects, alleviate the labour shortage that the sectors have faced over the past year, while building greater resilience in their workforce," said the authorities.