Skip to main content

Enhanced Support for Singaporean Professionals, Managers and Executives (PMEs)

  1. The Government will enhance support for Singaporean PMEs as part of ongoing efforts to strengthen the Singaporean core. Singaporeans aspiring for PME jobs will form a critical and growing core of our workforce as the education profile of Singaporeans improve, with an increasing proportion completing tertiary education. This provides a strong platform to support our transition to a highly-skilled and more innovative economy, with quality jobs that require deep skills and expertise. The measures announced today will help Singaporean PMEs pursue these quality jobs and careers, minimise risk of job mismatch and maximise opportunities for our PMEs.
  2. Starting with the launch of the Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) in 2007, the Government has put in place measures to support the employability of Singaporean PMEs. More recently, we have enhanced the PCPs, introduced P-Max to help place PMEs in SMEs, and launched a tripartite Career Resource Portal for PMEs. These efforts have contributed to the healthy employment outcomes1 of PMEs. Developing a strong core of Singaporean PMEs continues to be a key priority under SkillsFuture, which supports Singaporeans to learn and develop their full potential throughout their lives.
  3. The measures announced today will further enhance employment and career opportunities for Singaporean PMEs and will cover three areas: (a) strengthening the Singaporean core of PMEs, (b) enhancing the quality assessment of foreign PME applicants, and (c) expanding coverage of dispute resolution for Singaporean PMEs.

    A. Strengthening the Singaporean Core of PMEs
  4. We will enhance the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) in the following ways:

    (a) To comply with the FCF’s advertising requirement, firms will be required to publish the salary range of the job vacancy in the Jobs Bank. Employers who apply for Employment Passes (EP) where the job advertisement did not state a salary range will have their applications rejected. This enhancement will make the job terms clearer to Singaporean job seekers and improve labour market transparency. This requirement will come into effect on 1 October 2015.

    (b) MOM will increase scrutiny of EP applications for selected firms which have a weaker Singaporean core of PMEs relative to others in their industry. MOM will require these employers to submit more information to check whether Singaporeans were considered fairly. This may include information on the number of applications submitted by Singaporeans, whether Singaporeans were interviewed for the vacancy, and the firm’s current share of Singaporeans in PME positions at various levels.
  5. To help Singaporean PMEs remain relevant and employable in the fast-changing economy, at the sectoral level, tripartite partners will work to re-skill Singaporean PMEs whose skills are at higher risk of becoming outdated. These PMEs can be equipped to remain relevant in their current industry, or to embark on career pathways beyond their industries. The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) will strengthen its outreach to PMEs through workshops, dedicated career fairs for mid-career PMEs and career counselling.
  6. PCPs currently enable PMEs to undergo skills conversion and take on new jobs in a different industry. To further assist mature Singaporean PMEs who may face greater challenges in securing a job, WDA will implement a new Career Support Programme (CSP) to encourage employers to tap on the wealth of experience that mature Singaporean PMEs can bring to the workplace. Employers who employ mature workers, who have been looking for jobs for at least six months, in mid-level jobs that pay at least $4,000, will be given wage support.

      For PMEs aged 50 and above For PMEs aged between 40 and 50
    Wage support for first 6 months: 40% of gross monthly salary, capped at $2,800 a month 20% of gross monthly salary, capped at $1,400 a month
    Wage support for next 6 months: 20% of gross monthly salary, capped at $1,400 a month 10% of gross monthly salary, capped at $700 a month
  7. To help individuals settle in their new jobs, employers will be required to provide structured on-the-job training or send them for external training. The CSP will be piloted for 2 years from 1 October 2015 for eligible PMEs who register with WDA Career Centres and e2i.
  8. For mature Singaporean PMEs who experience greater difficulties in finding jobs, WDA will collaborate with and provide incentives to private search and placement firms to help these PMEs access more job opportunities. Individuals can seek the help of these firms directly, without going through WDA. This initiative will be launched on 1 October 2015 and will run for two years.

    B. Enhancing the Quality Assessment Of Foreign PME Applicants
  9. MOM expects firms to systematically develop their Singaporean PMEs. To complement Singaporean PMEs, foreign PMEs should be of suitable quality and experience. We will refine work pass controls in the following ways to better select for such candidates.
  10. MOM currently assesses foreign PMEs based on a combination of qualifications, experience and salary. MOM bans applicants with forged qualifications from working in Singapore for life.We will take a further step of rejecting work pass applications which contain doubtful qualifications such as those from degree mills. We will also pay more attention to the relevant experience of EP and S pass applicants, especially for those applying for professional occupations. MOM intends to progressively encourage and facilitate the transfer of expertise to Singaporean PMEs over time.

    C. Expanding Coverage of Dispute Resolution for Singaporean PMEs
  11. MOM, together with our tripartite partners, has revised our employment legislation and institutions to enhance protection, workplace representation, and access to dispute resolution mechanisms for PMEs.
  12. MOM will set up the Employment Claims Tribunal (ECT) in the first quarter of 2016. PMEs who earn more than $4,500 a month and are not covered by the Employment Act will then be able to have an accessible and expeditious avenue to resolve their statutory and contractual salary-related disputes through adjudication.
  13. In addition, the tripartite partners have agreed to enhance coverage under the Tripartite Mediation Framework (TMF)2 as follows:
    i. Cover re-employment and employment statutory issues;
    ii. Remove the salary cap of $4,500 to cover all PME union members in non-unionised companies; and
    iii. Include rank-and-file (R&F) union members in non-unionised companies

  14. These initiatives, which strengthen the employment support already in place, seek to enable Singaporean PMEs to remain employable and help them pursue quality jobs and careers. Employers and Singaporean PMEs have important roles to play. Employers should support the development of Singaporean PMEs and consider them fairly for career opportunities. Likewise, Singaporean PMEs need to take ownership of their own career development, up-skilling and upgrading to take on the quality jobs in the economy.

Annex A: Programme FAQs


  1. Real median incomes of Singaporean PMEs have risen 3.8% per annum in the past 5 years (deflated by Consumer Price Index for all items at 2014 prices). The unemployment rate for Singaporean PMEs has stayed low at 2.7% in 2014.
  2. The TMF was set up by the tripartite partners to provide mediation services for PME union members earning less than $4,500 a month who are working in a non-unionised company.
Last Updated: 27 November 2015