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Oral Answer by Minister for Manpower Dr Tan See Leng to PQ on Take-up of JGI for Ex-Offenders




MP: Mr Murali Pillai


To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) to date, how many ex-offenders have been hired under the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI); (b) what sectors have they been employed in, in percentage terms; and (c) what steps will be taken to ensure that the ex-offenders will be fairly treated as employees after the end of the 18-month salary support period under the JGI.






          Based on the latest available data, the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) has supported the hiring of more than 270,000 locals from September 2020 to February 2021 by 42,000 employers. Employers who have hired ex-offenders through Yellow Ribbon Singapore (YRSG), Industrial and Services Co-operative Society (ISCOS), or halfway houses engaged by the Singapore Prison Service will automatically receive the JGI of up to $54,000 for these hires. The JGI has supported around 780 ex-offender hires between September 2020 and February 2021.


2        Environmental Services, Food Services, Logistics, Wholesale Trade and Construction were the top five hiring sectors, and collectively accounted for almost eight in 10 of JGI-supported ex-offenders.


3        The member asked how we will ensure that ex-offenders will be fairly treated after the wage support of 18 months ends. The JGI is designed such that employers have to shoulder part of the cost of hiring of the worker. If the worker, whether an ex-offender or not, proves his value to the company, it serves the employer’s interest to keep him on its workforce even after the JGI support has ended. Otherwise, the employer would have wasted expense and months of effort training the new hire, and risk losing a skilled worker to competitors.


4        Programmes are available to support employers to train their new hires. With respect to ex-offenders placed by YRSG, YRSG provides additional support to them and their employers to facilitate their transition from prison to the work environment. A career coach is assigned to the ex-offender for up to 12 months. The career coaches work closely with ex-offenders and their employers to provide work-related support and resolve issues together.


5        However, employers’ business circumstances and manpower needs are constantly changing. Not all employers will be able to retain every single worker. Workers who need assistance can approach Workforce Singapore for career matching services. Ex-offenders can also reach out to YRSG, regardless of whether they are currently receiving YRSG’s assistance.


6        I would like to give workers the assurance that unfair treatment will be taken seriously. Any employee that experiences unfair treatment can approach the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices, which will investigate into such complaints.