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Implementation of the Non-Traditional Source Occupation List

1. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) had earlier announced the Non-Traditional Source Occupation List (NTS OL) at the Committee of Supply 2022. This will be implemented with effect from 1 September 2023. The NTS OL is intended to help firms adjust to the S Pass qualifying salary and levy increases by allowing them access to NTS Work Permit holders for occupations with pressing manpower needs, but see low take-up by locals and are harder to automate.

2. Ahead of its implementation on 1 September 2023, MOM has added two more occupations to the NTS OL – housekeepers and porters. There are now a total of nine occupations. MOM has also released the application details for cooks in Indian restaurants.

3. The tight list of occupations, together with the quota and salary criterion, supports the longer-term shift to be more manpower-lean, and addresses the industries’ manpower needs while balancing local employment outcomes. The full list of occupations on the NTS OL and NTS countries are listed in Annex A.

Inclusion of housekeepers and porters

4. In addition to the seven occupations that were earlier announced, licensed hotels will also be able to hire NTS housekeepers and porters at the Work Permit level from 1 September 2023. This was decided in consultation with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

5. Ms Margaret Heng, Executive Director of the Singapore Hotel Association said “The Singapore Hotel Association, together with our 160 members, welcome the inclusion of housekeepers and porters onto the NTS OL scheme for licensed hotels. These roles are essential to delivering service excellence and memorable guest journeys, but recruitment of suitable talents has become increasingly difficult. With this critical move, hotels can now tap on non-traditional sources to alleviate operational challenges and safeguard Singapore’s reputation as a preferred travel destination.”

Application details for cooks in Indian restaurants

6. Indian restaurants will be able to hire cooks from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at the Work Permit level under the NTS Occupation List. This is to better support our multi-ethnic food culture as restaurants can already hire Work Permit holders from Malaysia, People’s Republic of China and North Asian Sources today.

7. Mr S.Mahenthiran, Chief Executive Officer, Catering Solutions and Honorary Secretary of the Indian Restaurants Association of Singapore said “We appreciate the Government's effort in coming up with the NTS OL scheme to allow Indian restaurants to hire cooks at the Work Permit level. This will help us greatly in our mission to serve authentic Indian cuisine and preserve the Indian heritage in Singapore.”

8. Indian restaurants that wish to hire NTS Work Permit Holders can submit their applications via a FormSG link on MOM’s website, from 1 September 2023. Applications will be assessed on their eligibility by a panel comprising industry and government stakeholders in Indian cuisine. Eligible Indian restaurants may thereafter submit their Work Permit applications via MOM’s Work Permit Online (WPOL).

9. Employers who wish to hire NTS Work Permit Holders on the NTS OL will be subject to a sub-quota2 of 8% and a fixed monthly salarycriterion of at least $2,000. The Work Permit holders must also only perform the occupation stated on their Work Permit.

10. MOM will work closely with sector agencies to engage the industries and tripartite partners to review the NTS OL regularly. More information on the NTS OL may be found on MOM’s website, which is regularly updated with the latest information on the NTS OL.


  1. Hotels licensed by the Hotel Licensing Board.
  2. Not more than 8% of the firm’s total workforce (excluding Employment Pass holders)
  3. Fixed monthly salary comprises of basic monthly salary and fixed monthly allowances (e.g. fixed food and housing allowances)