Notice Paper No. 521 Of 2017 For The Sitting On Or After 7 February 2017

Question No. 953 For Oral Answer

MP: Mr Zaqy Mohamad

To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what is the Ministry's assessment on the take-up of the Professional Conversion Programme; (b) what are the challenges in matching and retraining vulnerable professionals amidst increasing retrenchment; (c) what are the take-up rates by workers from different race groups; and (d) whether the Programme has challenges reaching out to specific groups.

Answer:

The Professional Conversion Programme (or PCP) was launched in 2007 to help local PMETs acquire new skills to take on new careers.

With economic restructuring and slowing local workforce growth, the risk of mismatches between jobseekers and jobs created in the labour market has increased. To overcome this challenge, we expanded the scope of PCPs under Adapt and Grow last year to allow for conversion to different jobs within the same sector, or to different jobs within the same company for sectors with high risks of redundancy. With the expanded scope, we also increased the coverage of PCPs to most sectors - with 50 PCPs at the end of 2016 compared to 22 at the start of the year. We also stepped up salary support for mature or long-term unemployed PMETs who participate in a PCP in 2014.

The result of these changes has been encouraging, with more than 1,300 PMETs securing conversions through PCPs in 2016, which is 20% more than in 2015. Data on take-up by race is not available.

There remains much to do to support the manpower and skills needs of employers, and to help locals who may not have the relevant skills and experience to seize new job opportunities being created. MOM and WSG will continue to look at ways to strengthen our support for jobseekers under Adapt and Grow, including through PCPs.

Source: MINISTRY OF MANPOWER (MOM)