Employers are required by law to pay a monthly levy for each foreign worker they employ. The foreign worker levy is a pricing mechanism to regulate the number of foreign of workers in Singapore.
This liability typically starts from the time when Temporary Work Permit or Worker Permit is issued by Ministry of Manpower(MOM) and it will end when the permit is cancelled or expired.
Ongoing changes of levy rates has been applied for the past few years since it has been implemented by Ministry of Manpower.
Up till recently there was an update in Singapore Budget 2015, Ministry of Finance re-calibrated foreign worker levies to adjust the inevitable pace of Singapore foreign worker tightening measures.
Manufacturing and Construction sectors are expecting to have an change this coming years.
By deploying workers to Core Trade training and upgrading, employers are expected to pay lesser due to higher workers’ qualifications as they are being upgraded from R2 (Basic Skilled) workers to R1 (Highly skilled) workers. This in turn employers have to pay much lesser levy for each foreign worker they employ.
Longer Periods Of Employment
Aside from cost impacts, employers can also expect a longer period of employment of R1 workers instead of R2 workers. This improves retention of the better skilled and experienced workers.
For R2 workers, effective employment years can be up to 10 years while upgraded R1 workers’ effective employment years can be to 18 years, almost twice the period. This was implemented to retain longer experienced workers to their employers.
Sustainable Dependence On Foreign Labour
Higher skilled workers in turn means a sustainable dependable workforce. By setting adequate required skill-set and skill level of foreign workforce at entry point, employers have to register courses for their workers as soon as possible to avoid work permit renewal rejections when doing applications for their workers.
By achieving higher skilled workers, affected industries have an higher standard of operations with foreign labour, mitigating its initial cost impacts through training and increasing work productivity and effectiveness in the long term.
Funding Support From Government Scheme
Building and Construction Authority also encourages firms to build capability through funding supports such as the Workforce Training and Upgrading Scheme (WTU) scheme.
This helps firms to reduce the workers upgrading cost for easier transition. It co-funds the course fees up to 80% for Core Trade registrations with training & skills assessment, Multi-skilling scheme certifications and other higher qualifications at supervisory levels.
With different Trades offered by BCA Core Trade Scheme, different employers are sure be able to match their Core Trade courses pertaining to their specific industries to achieve the Core Trade result they want.
According to BCA, more than 27000 funding applications has been received from over 2500 companies. The inevitable push to adopt technology & build capability is closer in the coming years.