SGUNITED: Government to set aside S$100 million for traineeship programme amid COVID-19

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SGUnited Traineeships Programme

The SGUnited Traineeships Programme is no longer available.
Interested SMEs can now apply for the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme instead. 
Read here for more.

Read also: 5 Government Initiatives for SMEs Hiring Local Workers 2020

Article originally posted on Channel News Asia. 

SINGAPORE: The Government will set aside S$100 million to fund a traineeship scheme to help new graduates amid a weakening job market due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

From Jun 1, recent graduates of the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics, universities and other institutions will be able to tap on the new SGUnited Traineeships Programme to boost their employability, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) said in a joint release on Friday (Apr 24).

Under the programme, traineeships will last for up to 12 months. Trainees will get a monthly training allowance, based on the scope and skills required for the traineeship.

Table showing funding rates for traineeships

(Graphic: Ministry of Manpower and Workforce Singapore)

The Government will fund 80 per cent of the allowance and the trainee’s host company will fund the remainder.

This monthly training allowance is pegged to 50 to 70 per cent of median starting salaries, according to WSG and MOM. Host companies will not have to make CPF contributions for the trainees as “there is no employer-employee relationship” under the programme, said the authorities.

To qualify for the programme, trainees must be a Singapore citizen or permanent resident. They must also have graduated - or be graduating - in the calendar year 2019 or 2020, or have graduated earlier and completed National Service in 2019 or 2020.

Trainees should have graduated from ITEs, polytechnics, universities or educational institutions such as private universities and overseas institutions.

WSG has appointed the Singapore Business Federation programme manager for the SGUnited Traineeships Programme. The federation will work with host companies to review and approve the scope and development plans of their proposed traineeships.

Those interested in applying can look for traineeship opportunities on Host companies can also advertise these positions with the hashtag #SGUnitedTraineeships.

Please see below for more information on the programme:

SGUnited Traineeships Programme for Host Companies

Companies can come on board as host companies to bring in fresh graduates as trainees to support their business needs and will be able to tap on government support during the traineeship period in preparation of the economic recovery.

To find out more, refer to the Factsheet and FAQs.

The monthly training allowance provided to each trainee may vary depending on the Traineeship Scope, based on the traineeship requirements as below.

Required qualifications or their equivalents University degree or above Polytechnic diploma or professional qualifications ITE or equivalent
Estimated Monthly Training Allowance* $1,800 - $2,500 $1,300 - $1,800 $1,100 - $1,500

*The estimated monthly training allowance for each qualification is pegged to 50-70% of median starting salaries.

The Government will co-fund 80% of the training allowance.


All host companies must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Host companies must be registered or incorporated in Singapore
  • Offer traineeships lasting up to 12 months (Traineeship must commence by 31st December 2020)
  • Provide clear Traineeship Descriptions and Development Plans that would provide trainees with meaningful developmental opportunities during the traineeship period, subject to approval by the appointed programme manager, Singapore Business Federation(SBF)
  • Co-fund 20% of the training allowance for the duration of the traineeship



The SGUnited Traineeships Programme will commence from 1st June 2020 onwards. Prior to the programme commencement, companies interested to be host companies for traineeships under the programme can fill up this Interest Form. SBF will get in touch with companies on the application process, including submission of detailed Traineeship Descriptions and Development Plans. 


Company Specific Questions
1 Can my company apply for the SGUnited Traineeship Programme?

Host companies that meet the following eligibility criteria can apply for the programme:

· Host companies must be registered or incorporated in Singapore*

· Offer traineeships lasting up to 12 months (Training must commence by 31st December 2020)

·  Provide clear Traineeship Descriptions and Development Plans that would provide trainees with meaningful developmental opportunities during the traineeship period, subject to approval by the appointed programme manager Singapore Business Federation (SBF).

·   Co-fund 20% of the training allowance for the duration of the traineeship 

*This includes Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), Multi-national Corporations (MNCs), Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs), Non-governmental organisation (NGOs) and Non-Profit organisations.

2 Will host companies have to make CPF contributions for trainees? Are trainees eligible for JobSupport Scheme (JSS) payouts?


As this is a training programme, and there is no employment relationship between the trainees and host companies, host companies do not need to pay CPF. 

As trainees are not considered employees, host companies will not receive JSS payouts for these trainees.


3 Will host companies have to provide Annual and Sick Leave entitlements to the trainee duringthe programme period?


As this is a traineeship where there is no employer-employee relationship, host companies are not obliged to offer employee benefits to trainees. Host companies may choose to offer benefits on a discretionary goodwill basis.


4 During the course of the SGUnited Traineeships Programme, can a Host Company terminatethe traineeship?


In the event of unforeseen circumstances or unsuitable trainee fit, host companies can terminate the traineeship while providing sufficient notice to the trainee, as stipulated in the training agreement. They should seek approval from SBF, our programme partner, with an explanation for terminating the traineeship.

Likewise, trainees are also allowed to leave the traineeship at any time if there are good reasons to do so (e.g. managed to secure a full-time job) and while providing sufficient notice. Government funding for the training allowance will be provided for the duration of the fulfilled traineeship. 


5 How will the 80% Government Funding for the training allowance be provided?


Host companies are required to pay out the monthly training allowance to trainees on a monthly basis.

Correspondingly, SBF will reimburse the government co-funded portion of the training allowance on a monthly basis to the host companies on the programme.


6 Can a host company offer trainees a full-time role during the course of the traineeships?


Yes, host companies can offer their trainees with a full-time role, if they find the individual’s performance satisfactory. When a full-time position is offered by the host company, the traineeship should be terminated before entering any employer-employee relationship.

Host companies will then need to inform SBF of this development and when the formal full-time employment arrangement will begin. Government funding for the training allowance will be provided for the duration of the fulfilled traineeship.


7 What is the maximum duration of a traineeship programme?


Host companies can offer a traineeship of up to 12months. Traineeships must begin by 31st December 2020.


8 Can the Traineeship period be extended during the programme?


The traineeships cannot be extended as the duration was assessed based on approved plans.Host companies may wish to consider hiring the trainees if there are more roles for the trainee to undertake and/or tap on other available Government grants for immediate hiring needs.


9 How can my company come onboard as a Host Company?


Host companies that are interested to take on trainees can fill up this Interest Form. SBF will contact you to find out more about the traineeships to be offered and advise on the application process.


10 What documents will my company have to submit in applying for this programme?


More details will be provided in due time. In the meantime, host companies that are interested to take on trainees can fill up this Interest Form.


11 When can my company start the traineeship programme?


Traineeships can commence after the host company’s application for traineeship positions has been approved by SBF and the company has selected the trainee.


12 Given the COVID-19 situation, can my company do a virtual traineeship programme?


Yes, host companies can develop virtual traineeship programmes during this period of time. These will be evaluated by SBF to ensure that traineeships conducted via this mode still provide meaningful developmental opportunities for the trainees.


13 Can my company develop my own traineeship programme? Are there any guidelines to follow?


Host companies should propose Development Plans for the traineeships offered. The Development Plan will be assessed by SBF. Development Plans for the trainees should be clearly different from the work done by a regular employee of the host company.


14 Must my company post the traineeship opportunities on (MCF)?


Yes, host companies must post traineeship opportunities on

From there, host companies will be able to receive applications from interested fresh graduates and directly liaise with the applicants. Once the traineeship is offered and accepted, the host company must inform SBF to begin the traineeship. The host company must update the MCF posting and indicate that the opportunity has been filled.


15 Do companies apply for the programme only when they have found a trainee or should theyapply for the programme first and then find the trainees?


Companies should apply for the programme first and then find the trainees.


16 Must traineeships be conducted in Singapore? Can my company send trainees to overseasoffices for training?


Traineeships offered by host companies can be conducted overseas. Such requirements must be made known upfront during the posting of traineeship opportunities on Host companies will need to fully bearthe cost associated with overseas training.

Prevailing national travel advisories and restrictions will still apply.


17 How will the traineeship matching and hiring take place under this programme?


All traineeship opportunities will be uploaded on, which will provide a single point for individuals to apply for.

Host companies can process traineeship applications received for their traineeship roles based on their selection and shortlisting processes.


18 My company is a Group Company with many companies under us, can a trainee be put through traineeships with my affiliated companies?


Trainees will be tied to a specific host company (based on UEN) for the duration of the programme, and the host company will be responsible for all traineeship arrangements.

Requirements for rotation to affiliated companies must be made known upfront during submission of plans to the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and made clear to prospective applicants when the opportunity is posted on

SBF and WSG will conduct regular checks to ensure that host companies comply fully with approved traineeship plans.


  Source: WSG



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