Raising the Quality and Productivity of the Foreign Workforce
Hire and retain better skilled foreign workforce a key priority
A. Longer Period of Employment for Construction, Marine and Process
- From 1 May 2014, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will extend the maximum Period of Employment for Higher Skilled R1 Work Permit Holders (WPHs) from Non-Traditional Sources (NTS) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the Construction, Marine and Process sectors sectors to 22 years to encourage firms to retain their trained and experienced WPHs for longer periods. NTS include Bangladesh, India, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
- This extension of the maximum POE will not increase the number of WPHs in Singapore, as businesses are still required to keep within their Dependency Ratio Ceilings (DRCs). WPHs from Malaysia and North Asian Sources (NAS) will continue to be allowed to work up to age 60.
B. Market-Based Skills Recognition Framework (MBF) for Construction Sector
- Currently, WPHs in the Construction sector who are able to obtain the CoreTrade or Multi-skilling certification are classified as ‘Higher Skilled’ (R1). This requires WPHs to have at least four years’ experience in Singapore’s Construction sector and pass a skills test.
- From 1 August 2014, ‘Basic Skilled’ (R2) Construction WPHs can also upgrade to R1 status if they:
a. have at least six years’ Construction experience in Singapore; and
b. earn a fixed monthly salary of $1,600 or more.
- The MBF for the Construction sector will provide an additional pathway for employers to upgrade their R2 WPHs to R1 status, which will extend their maximum period of employment from 10 years to 22 years.
- An estimated 17,000 existing R2 Construction WPHs will be eligible for R1 status under the MBF this year.
C. Higher Levy for R2 Construction WPHs
From 1 July 2016, the foreign worker levy rate for R2 Construction WPHs on Man-Year Entitlements (MYEs) will be increased from $600 to $700. However, the foreign worker levy rate for R1 WPHs will remain unchanged in 2016.
For more information, please refer to the MOM website at www.mom.gov.sg.
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