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Singapore tackles COVID-19 crisis with skills upskilling and capacity support

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The Singapore government has launched a training and skills enhancement initiative to support the sectors most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
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In light of the current circumstances and with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, The world is facing a difficult phase that will have many economic and social repercussions. For Singapore, Studies have indicated that the impact of the virus will cast a shadow on a range of sectors that will be most affected: tourism, aviation, logistics, food and drink services and furniture. Keen to support these sectors and help them overcome this crisis, The government has allocated fiscal stimulus from the 2020 budget, but this is not enough to address other inevitable challenges such as unemployment and lack of job opportunities.

Thus, The Singapore government has launched the Singapore Workforce initiative to support five of the sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative included a range of solutions, including the "Adaptation and Growth" program, which aims to provide 2,000 accredited online training opportunities to hone the skills of individuals and prepare them to enter the labor market.

The Adaptation and Growth programme is designed to help Singaporeans navigate this crisis and cope with the economic and structural changes that will affect the labour market not only in Singapore but in the world at large. The program includes a set of measures, including providing new job opportunities for individuals in different companies or within the same company. Granting participating companies financial support for the salaries of their employees, and training opportunities to hone and enhance their skills.

Training and employment programmes targeting employees involved in performing day-to-day non-managerial tasks in the retail and foodservice sectors will also be provided. As well as the professional transformation program in digital operations, which targets employees of the furniture sector, including managers, executives and technicians of the middle level of the job.

As one of the affected sectors that require support and assistance to overcome this crisis, Similar programs were announced to help the aviation and tourism sectors earlier this year.

In addition to assisting the sectors directly affected by the epidemic, The Singapore Workforce Group has launched a three-month programme to redeploy the supply and logistics workforce and encourage employees to take advantage of the recession and prepare for changes in the industry. The primary objective of this programme is to enhance the skills of existing staff and enable them to take on different or new roles.

In order to encourage companies to enroll different age groups in their programs, Companies that allow citizens aged 40 and over to participate in "adaptation and growth" programs will be granted financial support covering 90% of salaries from April 2020, up from 70% previously. The maximum support period will also be extended to six months.

The results of these programs are expected to benefit more than 2,600 employees to support the actions related to the supply services and logistics sector. As well as sectors directly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The primary objective of these support measures is to avoid large employment losses amid this unstable economic situation. In contrast, The country seeks to take advantage of this phase by increasing employment opportunities and preparing individuals to come out the other end as a stronger and more efficient workforce.

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