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Launch of the Manpower for Strategic Economic Priorities (M-SEP) scheme to support firms’ expansion plans

1. The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), together with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and participating economic agencies, has launched the Manpower for Strategic Economic Priorities (M-SEP) scheme.

2. The M-SEP scheme was first announced by Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry Dr Tan See Leng, in his MOM Committee of Supply 2022 speech on 4 March 2022. The scheme complements the changes that MOM is making to Singapore’s work pass framework, by supporting the growth of businesses that contribute to Singapore’s strategic economic priorities through ambitious investment, innovation, or internationalisation activities.

3. Designed to support firms that are needle-movers for Singapore's economic priorities and competitiveness, M-SEP will help these firms seize opportunities to grow in Singapore successfully, while securing jobs and training opportunities for Singaporeans in the process.

4. The scheme gives qualifying firms the flexibility to temporarily hire S Pass and Work Permit holders above the prevailing Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC) and S Pass sub-DRC. To qualify, firms must also commit to employ and/or train locals. Eligible firms can obtain additional S Pass and Work Permit quotas of up to 5% above their base workforce headcount, subject to a cap of 50 workers per firm. Such additional flexibilities accorded under the M-SEP scheme will last for 2 years upon enrolment, and may be renewed thereafter, subject to meeting renewal conditions.

5. To qualify for the scheme, firms must satisfy both of the following conditions:
a. Condition 1 - Participate in programmes or activities in line with one of the
following key economic priorities:
a. Investments which support Singapore’s hub strategy
b. Innovation or Research & Development (R&D)
c. Internationalisation
(Please refer to the details in Annex A.)

b. Condition 2 - Commit to hiring and/or training locals.
(Please refer to the details in Annex B.)

6. To be eligible for M-SEP renewal, firms will also have to show that they have met both commitments by the end of the M-SEP support period. Firms will also have to maintain their local workforce share during this period. Those that fail to do so will be suspended from M-SEP for 2 years.

7. The M-SEP scheme signals Singapore’s commitment to remain open and connected, and the Government’s continued support for our businesses to amplify
economic growth and the creation of more good jobs for Singaporeans. Applications are now open. More details can be found on MOM’s website.