SINGAPORE: More than 110,000 new local hires were made under the Jobs Growth Incentive Scheme in September and October last year, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Monday (Feb 8).
About half of them were aged 40 and above, and based on estimates of the scheme's take-up as at October last year, about 26,000 employers had participated in the hiring, said MOM.
The Jobs Growth Incentive scheme was launched in August last year to encourage firms to hire locals in response to the COVID-19 economic fallout.
Under the S$1 billion programme, the Government will co-pay between 25 and 50 per cent of the first S$5,000 of a local hire’s gross monthly wages for 12 months.
Of about 14,000 employers who qualified for payouts under the scheme in September last year, about 80 per cent maintained or expanded their local hiring the following month. In October alone, more than 11,000 new employers became eligible for the scheme, MOM said.
Majority of all eligible employers hired one to two local workers, MOM said. About 20 per cent of the eligible employers hired five local workers or more.
Sectors that had the most hires with support from the scheme included food services, with 17,800 hires, wholesale trade with 9,800 and professional services with 8,400, according to numbers from MOM.
In a virtual press conference, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said that the scheme has "good momentum" for now.
"It is as yet unclear how much of the hiring momentum will be sustained and of course we will continue to help the job seekers move into roles," she said.
Mrs Teo was speaking after a visit to employment agency SearchAsia Consulting to understand the role that such agencies play in matching local job seekers to job opportunities.
The agency is one of five that have been recognised as having strong commitment to fair recruitment practices and helped their client companies strengthen the Singaporean core in their workforce.
She urged employers having difficulties hiring to review their recruitment practices, adding that employment agencies can be of help to them, including by helping them consider considers they may have overlooked.
"Employers tell us that they too receive many CVs, but to find the correct person from amongst the CVs is not so easy," she said.
The agencies can also help job seekers who may have overlooked roles because they were focusing only on industries and companies they were familiar with, Mrs Teo added.