close
Share with your friends

Singapore has navigated the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic with great success. But now is not the time to relent on what has worked so well for us. The COVID-19 Resilience Package sets forth a three-pronged approach to safeguard our nation, our people and our economy by protecting public health and ensuring we re-open safely, supporting our workers and businesses where necessary and finally, providing targeted support to sectors that are still under stress.

COVID-19 SUPPORT MEASURES

A three-pronged approach to continue support for businesses and workers

The S$11 billion COVID-19 Resilience Package will go towards:

1. Public health and safe re-opening​

To safeguard the health of Singaporeans through vaccination, keep up precautionary measures and a multi-layered defence system of contact tracing, testing and safe distancing.

2. Support for workers and businesses

a. To support targeted sectors which are hard-hit by COVID-19, the Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be extended for targeted sectors:

b. To facilitate workers moving to jobs in growth areas, certain schemes under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package, including the Jobs Growth Incentive, will be extended.

c. The COVID-19 Resilience Package also funds the following measures which were previously announced:

— Temporary Bridging Loan Programme and Enterprise Financing Scheme – Trade Loan which had been enhanced and extended till
30 September 2021

— The COVID-19 Recovery Grant to support workers who lost their jobs or experienced significant income loss

3. Support for specific sectors​

More targeted support will be provided for the worst-hit sectors as follows:​

  • The aviation sector will receive targeted support and cost relief
  • Arts & Culture Resilience Package and Sports Resilience Package will be extended and enhanced
  • Taxi and private car drivers will continue to benefit from the COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund
  • The SingapoRediscovers vouchers issued to boost the tourism sector will continue to be funded in 2021

Our view

Tap into measures to emerge stronger

The COVID-19 Resilience Package is welcomed by Singaporeans, workers and businesses and it is necessary and timely to weather the COVID-19 economic impact. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the various sectors differently, the COVID-19 Resilience Package has introduced measures to help specific sectors such as aviation, tourism, land transport and arts, culture and sports that continue to be severely impacted.

The road to recovery is still filled with uncertainty.  While it is still too early to tell if the COVID-19 Resilience Package can sufficiently offset the impact on the worst-hit sectors, it strikes the right balance between protecting businesses and jobs in the short term while signalling the need for restructuring in the medium to long term.  

Key consideration areas for businesses:

  1. Prepare for new realities.

    Businesses should take advantage of these measures to sustain and upgrade their capabilities and transform themselves.

  2. Some jobs may not return after COVID-19.

    Businesses need to transform to a new way of working in the new reality. The earlier businesses transform digitally, the better position they will be in to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.

  3. COVID-19 is going to be a long-term challenge. 

    Hence, businesses must continue to look for long-term solutions in the area of digital transformation, re-skilling and re-training of employees and constant innovation to protect and preserve jobs so as to emerge stronger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 SUPPORT MEASURES

Second tranche of SGUnited Jobs and Skills (SGU JS) Package

The SGU JS Package was launched in May 2020 to support workers affected by COVID-19. Targeted at creating job opportunities, providing traineeships for job seekers, providing support for skills upgrading and providing hiring incentives for employers, S$3 billion was allocated last year.

The second tranche will be allocated under the SGU JS Package and distributed to the following components of the SGU JS Package:

1. Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI)

  • Under Phase 2 of the JGI, the Government will extend the co-paying of salaries of all new local hires between March 2021 to September 2021 (inclusive) as follows:
    • Aged under 40: up to 25% of the first S$5,000 of gross monthly salary for up to 12 months; and
    • Aged 40 and above, persons with disabilities or ex-offenders: up to 50% of first S$6,000 of gross monthly salary for up to 18 months.
  • Employers must have an overall increase of local workforce size and increase in locals earning more than S$1,400 a month, as compared to their
    February 2021 local workforce.

2. SGUnited Traineeships (SGUT)

  • The Government will extend the SGUT scheme for one year until 31 March 2022. Adjustments are as follows:
    • ITE positions – Stipend will be increased from S$1,100 - S$1,500 to S$1,600 - S$1,800
    • Diploma SGUT positions – Stipend will be increased from S$1,300 - S$1,800 to
      S$1,700 - S$2,100
    • University SGUT positions – No change to Stipend
    • Maximum duration of each traineeship will be reduced from nine to six months from 1 April 2021 onwards

3. SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme – Company Attachment (SGUP-CA)

  • The Government will extend the SGUP-CA scheme for one year until 31 March 2022. Adjustments are as follows:
    • Maximum training allowance will be increased to up to S$3,800 per month
    • Minimum training allowance for non-mature trainees will be increased to S$1,600 per month
    • Government co-funding for mature trainees will be increased to 90% from 80%
    • Maximum training duration for each attachment will be reduced to six months from 1 April 2021 onwards

4. SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme – Company Training (SGUP-CT)

  • The Government will extend the SGUP-CT scheme for one year until 31 March 2022. Adjustments are as follows:
    • The capacity of in-demand courses and courses with good hiring opportunities will be expanded
    • SGUP-CT courses will be made more compact from 1 April 2021 onwards, with a duration of up to six months in general

5. SGUnited Skills (SGUS)

  • The Government will extend the SGUS scheme for one year until 31 March 2022. Adjustments are as follows:
    • The capacity of in-demand courses and courses with good hiring opportunities will be expanded
    • SGUS courses will be made more compact from 1 April 2021 onwards, with a duration of up to six months in general

Our view

Continued support for job growth and opportunities

As mentioned by DPM and Minister for Finance in his Ministerial Statements on 17 August and 5 October 2020, the Government will look into extending selected support schemes in order to support workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The SGU JS package helped to place nearly 76,000 individuals into jobs, traineeships, attachments, and skills training as of end of year 2020. The extension of the SGU JS Package, with recalibrated parameters, is a welcome initiative and this should provide opportunities for the workforce until the situation improves.

Longer term, as companies and industries transform, and new growth areas emerge, having the right skillsets and agility are paramount. The second tranche of the SGU JS Package, on top of the S$3 billion allocated last year, will help move local workers into new growth areas.