SINGAPORE: The Government will set aside S$100 million to fund a traineeship scheme to help new graduates amid a weakening job market due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From Jun 1, recent graduates of the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics, universities and other institutions will be able to tap on the new SGUnited Traineeships Programme to boost their employability, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) said in a joint release on Friday (Apr 24).
First announced during the Resilience Budget last month, the programme aims to support graduates and help them gain work experience.
In their joint release on Friday the authorities gave more details about the initiative and provided an update on companies which have signed up.
Under the programme, traineeships will last for up to 12 months. Trainees will get a monthly training allowance, based on the scope and skills required for the traineeship.
The Government will fund 80 per cent of the allowance and the trainee’s host company will fund the remainder.
This monthly training allowance is pegged to 50 to 70 per cent of median starting salaries, according to WSG and MOM. Host companies will not have to make CPF contributions for the trainees as “there is no employer-employee relationship” under the programme, said the authorities.
To qualify for the programme, trainees must be a Singapore citizen or permanent resident. They must also have graduated - or be graduating - in calendar year 2019 or 2020, or have graduated earlier and completed National Service in 2019 or 2020.
Trainees should have graduated from ITEs, polytechnics, universities or educational institutions such as private universities and overseas institutions.
To date, more than 280 organisations across the private sector, Government and institutes of higher learning have offered more than 4,000 traineeships under the programme, said the authorities. These organisations include Singtel, DBS, Surbana Jurong and the National University of Singapore.
READ: COVID-19 Resilience Budget: ‘Landmark’ S$48 billion package to tide Singapore through ‘unprecedented’ crisis
The aim is to have up to 8,000 traineeship opportunities this year across fields such as life sciences, engineering and the arts, said MOM and WSG.
WSG has appointed the Singapore Business Federation programme manager for the SGUnited Traineeships Programme. The federation will work with host companies to review and approve the scope and development plans of their proposed traineeships.
Those interested in applying can look for traineeship opportunities on MyCareersFuture.sg. Host companies can also advertise these positions with the hashtag #SGUnitedTraineeships.
“We are heartened that despite difficult business conditions during the COVID-19 outbreak, many firms, large and small, have stepped forward to join the SGUnited Traineeships Programme,” said WSG Chief Executive Tan Choon Shian. “With these firms participating as hosting companies, our fresh graduates will be able to use this traineeship period to prepare themselves for the eventual recovery, and we can be better assured that our Singapore workforce will remain resilient, robust and ready to rebound.”