The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed a new era of business with many companies facing overwhelming challenges and unchartered waters as they continue to navigate the journey to reinventions and recovery to the new normal. 

One year ends, another begins – 2021 will be a year where businesses can anticipate growth as they transition to the next normal. With the pandemic triggering activities to collapse and unemployment to soar, business leaders have taken actions to help workers through various schemes and enrolment in job retention programmes during this time. 

Saving jobs, Supporting Workers 

Existing programmes like Professional Conversion Programmes (PCP) and its sister programme Place-and-Train for Rank-and-Files (PnT) are government-funded career conversion programmes designed to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore. With grants providing up to 90% salary support and course fee grants, the programmes are the mainstay version of the COVID-19 focused Jobs Support Scheme initiative (JSS).

Singapore Central Business District during pandemic
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These programmes are crafted to help businesses find new employees from other sectors, lower their hiring costs, and provide a springboard for their training so they can contribute to the company as quickly as possible.

How does it work:
The PCP and PnT can benefit employers in a number of ways:

Salary Support

    • Workforce Singapore (WSG) provides salary grants of up to 90% of new hires’ salary.

Industry-accredited curriculum (PCP only)

    • Training providers like Supply Chain And Logistics Academy (SCALA) provide broad-spectrum training to fast-track new employee training. This academic-styled learning is only provided for PCPs.

On-The-Job Training (OJT)

    • Employees will actively participate in OJT with the company for the duration of the programme. This allows prospects to get hands-on experience equipping themselves with skills, knowledge and competencies in a workplace environment.

Together, the Salary Support, industry-accredited curriculum and OJT creates a holistic training system for potential employees to seek new employment, and for employers to gain another avenue of salary support.

Additionally, unlike JSS the PCP and PnT are renewed yearly as part of WSG’s core initiatives.

If you are an employer looking to hire new PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Engineers, Technicians) working outside of your sector, Professional Conversion Programmes at SCALA can equip prospects with newly relevant skills.

Upon fulfilling the criteria, employers can submit their company and candidates for the PCP or PnT by speaking to a training provider. For example, companies in the logistics and supply chain sectors can send their applications to SCALA, who will help apply, administer, and train them.

Massive Challenge to Meaningful Change

Amidst the uncertainties, businesses can leverage on both the PCP and the Job Growth Incentives (JGI), a government support scheme that provides substantial salary support, to enable businesses to bring forward hiring plans and grow local workforce over the next six months, from 1 September 2020 to 28th February 2021. This means employers that increase their overall local workforce between 1 September 2020 and 28th February 2021 will receive government support.

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In short, companies who lower their operating costs, hire flexibly, and remain open to new ideas by taking full advantage of the myriad of available grants such as the PCPs will find the greatest success in the ever-changing economy.