Capability-building grants boosted; those with disabilities to get 50% wage support

SINGAPORE will extend or enhance its capability-building grants to support businesses seeking to internationalise, transform and digitalise, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.

These grants are the Market Readiness Assistance Grant, the Productivity Solutions Grant, the Enterprise Development Grant, and the PACT programme.

They will enable firms to tap on new sources of growth, Mr Heng said in Parliament on Monday.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry will announce details on the extensions and enhancements of these grants in the coming weeks.

The government will also provide the higher tier of wage support - 50 per cent - under the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) to all persons with disabilities.

This will apply to new hires of persons with disabilities from September 2020 to February 2021.

Under the JGI scheme, the government funds between 25 per cent and 50 per cent of the wages of each new local hire in firms that increase their total local headcount. The support is for the first S$5,000 of gross monthly wages, for up to 12 months.

Mr Heng on Monday noted that persons with disabilities may face greater challenges in finding jobs.

Separately, Mr Heng provided updates on the enhanced support provided to startups via the Startup SG Founder programme.

Since enhancements were unveiled in August, he said, more than 500 aspiring entrepreneurs have signed up for the three-month venture building programmes.

"We will continue to provide strong support to firms that are growing. In this way, our workers can move into growth areas, stay employed and build new skills," he said on Monday.

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