Oral Answer by Mr Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for Manpower to Parliamentary Question on whether the Government will allow more foreign domestic, healthcare and childcare workers into Singapore
Notice paper no. 605 of 2017 for the sitting on or after 04 April 2017
Question no. 1050 for oral answer
MP: Mr Gan Thiam Poh
To ask the Minister for Manpower whether the Government will allow more foreign domestic, healthcare and childcare workers into Singapore to meet the needs of an ageing population and increasing fertility rates.
- To meet manpower needs in the healthcare and early childhood sectors, our priority is to nurture a pipeline of qualified Singaporeans to take up good jobs in these sectors. For example, intakes in local schools for medical, nursing and early childcare related programmes have been expanded in recent years to attract more Singaporeans to join these sectors. We have also established Adapt and Grow Programmes to facilitate the transition of mid-career professionals who wish to take up these jobs. For example, there are Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) for occupations such as registered nurses and pre-school teachers.
- However, time is needed to expand our local manpower pipeline. Where there remain shortfalls, firms will continue to have access to foreign workers to fill gaps in number, skills or timing.
- In addition, families that need help with caring for their young children or elderly family members at home can hire foreign domestic workers (FDWs). To provide more support to such families, the concessionary FDW levy rate was lowered from $120 to $60 per month in May 2015. The Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) also provides a means-tested monthly grant of $120 to support families who need to hire a FDW to care for a family member who requires permanent assistance with daily living activities.
- It is in the interest of employers to ensure that the FDWs they employ have the requisite skills, aptitude and supervision to perform their roles well. The AIC provides a Caregivers Training Grant (CTG) to help offset the cost of attending approved training for caregivers of seniors and persons with disabilities, including FDWs who support families in caring for such persons. Families should consider sending their FDWs for such training.