Higher S Pass or Work Permit Quotas for Firms That Drive Singapore’s Growth
Under the Manpower for Strategic Economic Priorities (M-SEP) scheme, firms that drive Singapore’s growth can apply for more work permits. This includes the S Pass work permit.
If your company helps advance Singapore’s key economic priorities, you will be granted temporary allowance to hire more foreigners. Even if this exceeds the prevailing quota per industry. This move is to help ensure Singapore stays competitive and avoid manpower shortage issues.
Applying For the S Pass and Work Permits
Foreign worker quotas will expand by up to 5% on top of the existing workforce base, if the industry is approved. This will be capped at 50 additional workers. This will be done over two years at a time.
Companies that are eligible can apply through the Ministry of Manpower (MOM)s website. Eligible enterprises include those that make significant investments and have aggressive internationalisation plans. That is because these firms need the manpower to help them move forward.
Meeting the Five Agencies
To be eligible for the higher S Pass or work permit quotas, a company must achieve one of two things. It must already be part of an economic scheme, or it must meet specific economic criteria based on any of the five agencies.
In Singapore, there are five agencies that have a hand in overseeing the robust growth of the economy. The agencies are as follows:
- Singapore Tourism Board
- Economic Development Board (EDB)
- Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA)
- Enterprise Singapore
- Infocomm Media Development Authority
Companies that would like to utilise the M-SEP advantage have to commit towards hiring or training the equal number of employees as the additional quota. This must be done within two years.
Companies should also be recognised for their workplace learning practices. Recognition should either be in the form of a gold or platinum certificate. The certificate should come from the National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning, or SkillsFuture Queen Bee.
At the moment, Singapore has 7 companies that are platinum or gold certified. There are also 16 SkillsFuture Queen Bees in the country.
Enrolling Local Employees in Training Programmes
Local employees must be enrolled in either one of the 10 recognised training programmes available in Singapore. These should be by Workforce Singapore, EDB, SkillsFuture Singapore, or MPA among others.
The purpose of the enrollment is to prove that companies have put forth the necessary effort to directly train the local workforce. The training programmes should help lead these employees and equip them to take on more responsibilities and higher wages.
To meet the requirements for an M-SEP quota renewal, companies must prove they have fulfilled their commitments to maintaining the local workforce share. If they can’t, they will not be eligible to apply for a renewal for a two-year period.
If a company is not sincere in fulfilling its commitments, participating in future government-led programmes may be jeopardised.