Settling-In Programme for first-time foreign domestic workers to be implemented from 1 May 2012
Entry Test to be replaced by the new SIP13 April 2012
- With effect from 1 May 2012, all first-time foreign domestic workers (FDWs) will attend the one-day Settling-In Programme (SIP), conducted in English or in the FDWs’ native languages. The SIP aims to better orientate and equip FDWs with basic knowledge about living and working safely in Singapore.
- As announced by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in December 2011, the SIP will replace the English Entry Test for FDWs. The current four-hour Safety Awareness Course (SAC) will also be subsumed under the SIP.
Details of the New SIP - Greater Emphasis on Work Safety
- The one-day SIP will cover the following five modules:
(i) Introduction to Singapore;
(ii) Conditions of employment;
(iii) Safety at home;
(iv) Safety in other areas; and
(v) Relationship and stress management.
The modules on introducing Singapore, relationship and stress management and safety in other areas are new, and previously not covered under the SAC. There will also be greater emphasis and time spent on the topic of safety under the one day SIP.
- The SIP will be delivered through a combination of lectures, videos and practical sessions. On work safety, FDWs will have more time for practical hands-on sessions to learn how to perform chores safely under the SIP, compared to the SAC previously. SIP trainers will teach the FDWs to recognise dangerous situations when they are at work. They will also demonstrate the safe ways to clean windows and hang laundry, before the FDWs try their hands at it. The trainers will observe each FDW’s ability to practise what was taught and these observations will be shared with the FDWs’ employment agents, who will help to convey the observations to the FDWs’ employers.
- To help FDWs practise work safety in their employers’ households, they will each be given an extendable wiper to more easily clean hard to reach areas. In addition, new FDWs will continue to receive a Handy Guide, which they can refer for more important information on their conditions of employment, useful contact numbers, etc. At the end of the SIP, FDWs will respond to a questionnaire to ensure that they have understood and retained the right messages and lessons taught at the SIP.
Two Accredited Training Providers (ATPs) Appointed
- A total of 12 applications were received by MOM in January this year, for consideration to be appointed as Accredited Training Providers (ATP) to conduct the SIP. Five were shortlisted and invited to present their proposals to MOM. In assessing the applications, important considerations included the organisation’s financial strength and sustainability, their proposed fee for the SIP, its operational readiness, its track record and course trainers’ credibility as well as any proposed value-add services. Two organisations were found most suited as ATPs to conduct the SIP. These two ATPs, which MOM has appointed to conduct the SIP, are:
• Grace Management & Consultancy Services Pte Ltd (GMCS), in partnership with FAST; and
• ECON Careskill Training Centre (ECTC) Pte Ltd, part of the ECON Healthcare Group.
- Both GMCS and ECTC will offer the SIP at $75 (inclusive of GST). FDWs can attend the SIP with either one of the two ATPs. The cost of SIP will be borne by the FDW employer.
- To ensure consistency in content delivery, MOM will provide the training programme and curriculum to the ATPs. Information on the SIP will be made available on the MOM website at www.mom.gov.sg from 20 April 2012. Registration for the SIP can be done through the ATPs’ websites1 from 20 April 2012.
Stakeholder Feedback Sought Prior to Implementation of SIP
- To help fine-tune the SIP content, MOM conducted a trial run of the SIP with 140 first-time Indonesian and Filipino FDWs between 12 and 16 March 2012. Stakeholders such as employers, employment agencies and VWOs were also invited to attend the trial to provide feedback.
- FDWs and stakeholders who attended the trial generally found the one-day programme sufficient in terms of covering what a first-time FDW should know before starting work. Many of the FDWs also found the practical sessions on hanging laundry and cleaning windows particularly useful.
- Commenting on the launch of the SIP, Mr Aw Kum Cheong, Divisional Director of the Ministry’s Foreign Manpower Management Division, said, “The SIP was conceived through our extensive consultation with stakeholders on FDW issues. Through the different modules, we hope that first-time FDWs will find the SIP useful in helping them adapt to working and living in Singapore, and in fostering better working relationship with their employers. However, performing chores in a home environment is very different, so we urge employers to continue to play an active role in supervising their FDWs in their work and in ensuring a safe work environment for them.”
- MOM will closely monitor the SIP after its implementation and fine-tune its content and delivery where necessary, to ensure its relevance and usefulness for FDWs.
1 GMCS – www.gmcs.com.sg
ECON – www.econcareskill.com/SIP
Last Updated on 13 April 2012