Singapore government establishes S$66 million fund to redesign jobs for older workers

Author: PM editorial | Date: 25 May 2016

Organisations can apply for a grant of up to S$300,000 to make workplace more accessible

A new S$66 million fund has been established by the government of Singapore, to provide grants to organisations that want to redesign jobs for older employees.
 
Up to S$300,000 will be available for projects that make jobs more accessible or safer for employees aged 50 or older, through the WorkPro scheme – a joint effort between the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA).
 
Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said that about 1,800 organisations have successfully applied for the Age Management Grant in the past three years and the WorkPro scheme would hopefully see more take action. “The next challenge is to get more organisations to take real action to redesign their workplace. In a way, we’re now in the second phase,” he said.
 
The WorkPro scheme began in 2013 to increase local manpower and will now focus on making the workplace more age-friendly.
 
Organisations can also apply for up to 80 per cent of project costs if they are already using the Capability Development Grant and Inclusive Growth Programme.
 
The changes take place ahead of new legislation coming into force next July, which raises the re-employment age from 65 to 67.
 
The over-60s currently form 12 per cent of Singapore’s labour force, more than double the number 10 years ago (5.5 per cent).
 
The Age Management Grant will continue to offer S$20,000 in funding to employers who adopt four good workplace and hiring practices that directly benefit older workers.
 
In his May Day message earlier this month, prime minister Lee Hsien Loong encouraged employers to be “open-minded” about hiring older workers who may be changing careers. ”Grey hair is not bad because you are more mature, you are more stable and you can mentor the younger ones,” he said.