MID-CAREER professionals can now be hired and trained as accounts or audit professionals, even if they do not have relevant experience.

This is as a result of a pilot programme by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)'s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) and professional accounting body CPA Australia.

The "Place-and-Train Accounts & Audit Professionals Programme" provides employers with training allowances and subsidies of up to 70 per cent for successful candidates.

Additionally, employers that hire candidates through this initiative can apply for training support of up to $8,450.

Mr Gilbert Tan, acting chief executive officer of e2i, said: "e2i creates employment and employability solutions for professionals, managers and executives interested in developing their carrers."

The programme will "address the manpower needs of the accounting sector, as well as provide a way for Singaporeans to tap into accounting or audit-related job opportunities," added Mr Tan.

Trainees will enroll in the CPA's programmes for training, in addition to sixmonths of on-the-job training with participating employers.

Candidates will be offered permanent and full-time jobs from participating employers, with a minimum salary of $2,000.

A basic salary increase of at least 15 per cent upon completion of the programme is also guaranteed.

CPA Australia's Singapore general manager Melvin Yong said: "For employers, this is a potential avenue to recruit experienced staff amidst Singapore's current tight labour market."

Foo Kon Tan Grant Thornton LLP is an employer that has expressed interest in the programme. "Grant Thornton endorses the opportunity provided to mid-career professionals to embark on this programme where they undergo formal training," said its managing partner Kon Yin Tong.