In his 2021 Budget Statement, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat announced various support measures to help workers emerge stronger from the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered global shifts on the economic, social and political fronts. It has set off new domains for competition and cooperation, accelerated technological advances. To secure our future, we must build new capabilities in our people and businesses, and find new ways to work together effectively.
DPM Heng Swee Keat during his Budget Statement on 16 February 2021

While 2020’s Budgets were targeted at broad-based emergency support, this year’s Budget will focus on accelerating structural adaptations, to equip our businesses and workers with deep and future-ready capabilities.


Over the next three years, the Government will allocate $24 billion to enable our firms and workers to emerge stronger. This effort builds on the momentum of the transformation push started five years ago, when the Industry Transformation Maps were launched.




The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) was launched in 2020 to protect jobs and help firms retain local workers. The Government has committed over $25 billion to the JSS, and supported over 150,000 employers for up to 17 months. The current tranche will continue to cover wages up to March 2021 for most sectors.


Here’s how the JSS will be extended:


Firms in Tier 1 sectors (Aviation, Aerospace, Tourism):

  • 30% support for wages paid from April to June 2021
  • 10% support for wages paid from July to September 2021

Firms in Tier 2 sectors (e.g. Retail, Arts and Culture, Food Services, Built Environment):

  • 10% support for wages paid from April to June 2021

Other sectors:

  • Continued support up to March 2021, as previously announced




The SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package was launched in 2020, to tackle the anticipated labour market fallout from COVID-19. As of end-2020, nearly 76,000 individuals have been placed into jobs, traineeships, attachments, and skills training. Under the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI), an estimated 110,000 local jobseekers were collectively hired within two months from the implementation of the scheme.


Here’s how the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package will be extended:


Additional $5.4 billion for a second tranche of SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package

  • On top of $3 billion already allocated in 2020
  • $5.2 billion to extend JGI hiring window to September 2021

Support for SGUnited Skills, SGUnited Traineeships, SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programmes will be extended


The next phase of the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package will support the hiring of 200,000 locals this year, and provide up to 35,000 traineeship and training opportunities.



Our healthcare workers have, over the years, been working hard to provide us with the highest quality of care. Since COVID-19 hit, their exemplary commitment has shone through. Let me, once again, express our deepest appreciation to all healthcare workers for your dedication in fighting the pandemic.
DPM Heng Swee Keat during his Budget Statement on 16 February 2021

Beyond the pandemic, the healthcare sector is set to grow, as our people age. This sector provides many good skilled jobs that are noble, meaningful, and make a difference to Singaporeans.


The Government will enhance the salaries of our nurses and other healthcare workers, such as support care staff. This will apply to workers across public healthcare institutions, and publicly-funded community hospitals and long-term care service providers.




While some Singaporeans are concerned about our reliance on foreign manpower, many businesses and trade associations have found it difficult to hire locals.


The Government will continue to support the employment of Singaporeans, while we deepen our capabilities and promote capability transfer and moderate our reliance on foreign labour:


Here’s how:


Extend Wage Credit Scheme to support wage increments for companies to retain and attract locals

  • Extended for a year, at a co-funding level of 15%

Extend Capability Transfer Programme to support foreign-to-local skills transfer

  • Extended up to end-September 2024
  • As of end-2020, more than 140 companies and over 970 locals have benefitted, or expected to benefit from 40 projects

Reduce Manufacturing S Pass Sub-Dependency Ratio Ceiling (Sub-DRC) to develop deep skills in local workforce, and reduce reliance on foreign labour

  • Reduced to 18% from 1 January 2022
  • Reduced to 15% from 1 January 2023

Enabling our people to have access to good jobs and job opportunities is the purpose, for developing a strong economy. A vibrant economy creates the jobs and opportunities for our people to be at their best.
DPM Heng Swee Keat during his Budget Statement on 16 February 2021

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