More training and salary measures to help unemployed PMETs: Lim Swee Say

Hannah Teoh
Senior Content Producer
Officer workers in Raffles Place (Photo:l Reuters)

Older and unemployed professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) can expect more training and salary support from the government, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said in Parliament on Monday (6 March).

Speaking about the three types of mismatches that PMETs face – job, skill and wage – amid economic uncertainty, Lim announced that the measures are aimed at PMETs of all age groups who have been looking for a job for some time or are looking to switch their careers.

To encourage employers to offer more jobs at the mid-level under the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP), the government will raise the entry support cap from $2,000 currently to $4,000. Under the six-month PCP, the government supports 70 per cent of the wages.

With the higher cap, the PCP will cover jobs with a salary of up to $5,700. As such, employers will pay $1,700, while the government will pay the remaining $4,000.

For mature PMETs who are more than 40 years old or have been unemployed for more than 6 months, the cap will increase from $4,000 to $6,000. As the wage support level for these PMETs is 90 per cent, the PCP will cover jobs with a salary of up to $6,700.

The government will also introduce the “Attach and Train” scheme to help PMETs in job conversion ahead of job placement, Lim said. Targeting industries rather than companies, the government will provide trainees with allowances of 50 per cent to 70 per cent of prevailing salaries for the jobs that they are being trained for. This will be capped at $4,000 per month in view of salary grants paid to employers.

To lower the risk of non-placement, trainees will be attached to companies as part of the conversion process. This is to familiarise the trainees with their new jobs and workplaces so that they will be able to work immediately when companies are ready to hire them.

In the initial stage of the scheme, the government will target the logistics, infocomms, healthcare and biologics industries, Lim added.

Three groups of unemployed or retrenched PMETs will also get more wage support to encourage employers to hire these workers under the Career Support Programme.

For retrenched or unemployed PMETs who have been actively looking for jobs for more than one year, employers will receive higher wage support and for longer duration from 12 months to 18 months. In total, the wage support can be as high as $42,000 over 18 months for the employers.

PMETs aged 40 to 49 who are made redundant or unemployed for six months will get the same level of support as those PMETs aged 50 and above. For the first six months, the wage support for them will double to $25,200 for up to one year.

PMETs of any age group who are unemployed for six months or more will also get support. The wage support for this group is up to $12,600 even if they are not made redundant.