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More help for mid-career workers to move to healthcare jobs

Last year, some 700 mid-career people found new jobs in healthcare, a sector that needs to attract 9,000 more workers in the coming three years.

More help for mid-career workers to move to healthcare jobs

The Health Ministry said it will enhance its professional conversion programme to recruit more mid-career Singaporeans as nurses. Photo: The Straits Times

Last year, some 700 mid-career people found new jobs in healthcare, a sector that needs to attract 9,000 more workers in the coming three years.

About 300 were placed through the Ministry of Manpower's Adapt and Grow initiative to help mid-career professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) find jobs. 

The other 400 were recruited through job fairs organised by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC).

Answering Nominated Member of Parliament K. Thanaletchimi, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said the ministry will also enhance its professional conversion programme (PCP) to recruit even more mid-career Singaporeans as nurses.

There will be more funds to provide such nurses with professional and on-the-job training.

The ministry is also introducing overseas master degree scholarships for non-nursing graduates to pursue nursing studies.

Since 2009, this programme has admitted more than 400 people who had wanted to make a career switch to become nurses, physio and occupational therapists, diagnostic radiographers and dental surgery assistants.

Mr Gan said of the 223 recruited between 2009 and 2011, "82 per cent have completed their training and were successfully placed into a healthcare job".

Of these, 92 per cent have stayed on after finishing the two-to-three-year minimum service period required.

There are also scholarship programmes to help existing non-clinical workers in healthcare institutions to train to become nurses or allied healthcare professionals.

The minister said 54 such scholarships were given out in the last three years.

He added that there are "upgrading opportunities" for enrolled nurses to become the higher-level registered nurses.

They need to do a three-year polytechnic course to gain better skills - more than 750 enrolled nurses took this opportunity over the past three years.

Singapore has about 40,000 nurses.

Healthcare employers can also tap the Workforce Singapore's PCP to recruit mid-career administrators.

Mr Gan said: "In addition, those with managerial experience and are planning to switch to the community care sector can be placed on the senior management associate scheme and under training provided by AIC and the employers."

He said the ministry will also enhance its Place And Train programmes to recruit mid-career people as support care staff, with a $10,000 training fund per worker employed by public healthcare and community care employers.

This article by The Straits Times was published in The New Paper, a free newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

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