SINGAPORE: A scheme to encourage firms to hire local workers will be further enhanced to support ex-offenders, Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo said on Friday (Dec 4).
Under the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI), which was introduced in August, the Government will co-pay 25 per cent of the first S$5,000 of gross monthly wages for each new local hire below 40 years old, for up to 12 months from the month of hire. This applies to firms that meet the qualifying criteria.
The co-payment goes up to 50 per cent for workers aged 40 and above.
Mrs Teo noted that the higher tier of wage support was extended in October to eligible employers hiring people with disabilities.
"To support an even more inclusive workforce, the JGI will be further enhanced to support ex-offenders as well," said the Manpower Minister in a Facebook post.
"For employers that include ex-offenders in their workforce expansion, we will provide the higher level of wage support of 50 per cent, regardless of age."
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About 10,000 offenders leave prison every year, said Mrs Teo, adding that they face challenges which include getting back to work.
“Yet it is so important that they do, to return as full members of society again,” she said.
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For ex-offenders placed through the support of Yellow Ribbon Singapore, Industrial and Services Co-operative Society (ISCOS), or halfway houses in contract with Singapore Prison Service, eligible employers will automatically receive the higher tier of JGI.
For all other employers of ex-offenders, the higher tier of support would be provided upon application.
"I urge employers to be inclusive. Give an ex-offender that second chance at rebuilding a new life," said Mrs Teo.