Under the Job Growth Incentive(JGI) scheme, more than 1,600 people with disabilities have been hired as of February 2021. A majority of these job beneficiaries had been out of work for more than 6 months. Among these people with disabilities, 40 % are aged 40 years or older. The JGI scheme was introduced in August 2020 to incentivize more companies to hire locals and had set aside $1 billion as wage support. Cumulatively to date, more than 140,000 locals have been hired under the Jobs Growth Incentive scheme since November 2020. This scheme is set to be extended to September this year and aims to encourage firms to hire more locals.
Top hiring sectors
The Manpower Ministry said that the Food services, environmental services, and wholesale trade, collectively accounted for a little more than 40% of JGI-supported hires of people with disabilities.
What’s in it for the local businesses?
The Ministry announced that companies hiring workers aged above 40 and above and people with disabilities or former offenders will receive a co-payment of up to 50 percent of the first $6000 of the worker’s gross monthly income for up to 18 months. Firms that hire local workers will receive a subsidy of 25 percent of the first $5,000 of their gross monthly salaries for up to one year.
Jessica Szeto, who has Down Syndrome and is one of the beneficiaries of the JGI scheme will also receive further training as part of her employment at the local business that she’s employed with. The 30-year-old said: “(The job) has been very good. I’m very happy to do packing and serving. I was nervous at the start, but I met a lot of friends on the job and they taught me.”
The JGI scheme is one of many ways of developing employment opportunities for disabled people in Singapore. Training and coaching hubs in regional centers are also set to be in place by 2023, to ensure intentional development of their soft skills. Manpower Minister Tan See Leng further applauds JGI’s success, “The JGI-eligible employers were successful in tapping a wider pool of job seekers, including those who were previously unemployed, as well as mature workers who may require skills top-ups for them to make mid-career switches. This is actually quite remarkable.”