Written Answer to PQ by Minister for Manpower on Data on Workers Who Found Employment Successfully Through Foreign Construction Worker Directory System and Singapore Construction Manpower Exchange
NOTICE PAPER NO. 727 OF 2021 FOR THE SITTING ON 5 OCTOBER 2021
QUESTION NO. 1138 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
MP: Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang
To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) to date, how many and what percentage of workers successfully found employment respectively through the (i) Foreign Construction Worker Directory System and (ii) Singapore Construction Manpower Exchange; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider implementing such job-matching schemes to work permit holders in all sectors..
The Singapore Construction Manpower Exchange (SCMX), set up in May 2020 by SCAL in partnership with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), has replaced the Foreign Construction Worker Directory System (FCWDS) as the platform to actively facilitate the matching of workers in the construction sector. It gives workers the opportunity to continue working in Singapore and saves employers the repatriation costs. Workers whose work permits have been terminated can register with SCMX, and the existing employer must agree to the transfer. As of end-August 2021, around 420 workers have successfully found employment via the SCMX. These make up around 20% of the workers enrolled on the scheme.
Besides the construction sector, MOM has also partnered other trade associations, namely Singapore Business Federation (SBF), Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI) and Association of Process Industries (ASPRI), to set up job matching schemes for the manufacturing and services, marine-shipyard and process sectors respectively in March and August 2020. As of end-August 2021, around 340 workers have successfully found employment via these schemes. These make up around 50% of the workers enrolled on these schemes.
To encourage more workers to be retained in Singapore, from 1 September 2021, MOM, in partnership with SCAL has introduced a new six-month SCMX (Retention Scheme). Under this scheme, experienced workers whose previous employment has been terminated but wished to continue working in Singapore will be placed on the scheme, with safeguards in place against abuse (e.g. workers who job-hopped and changed multiple employers within the past 12 months). These workers would not need to seek consent from their original employer, and will be granted a 30-day stay during which SCAL will take over the responsibility for the workers, including repatriation if they are unable to find a suitable employer. MOM is in discussion with ASMI and ASPRI to explore setting up a similar retention scheme for the marine-shipyard and process sectors respectively.