Aug 02, 2012
Earlier in March this year, Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Chan Chun Sing announced that MCYS would roll out a number of manpower development initiatives to strengthen the social service sector. These initiatives are aimed at ensuring adequate manpower resources and enhancing the professional capability of social service professionals.
The key manpower initiatives are:
(a) Competitive remuneration
MCYS recognises the importance of ensuring competitive remuneration of social service professionals. With effect from 1 July 2012, the ministry has increased its funding to Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) running social services and programmes by $10 million (from $60 million in 2011 to about $70 million). A large part of the increase (about $6 million) goes towards the salaries of social service professionals to help VWOs provide competitive salaries to attract and retain critical staff.
The funding norms of social service jobs were adjusted to be comparable to salaries of similar jobs in the market. The funding norms of social workers were adjusted by up to 15%. Appropriate adjustments were also made to the funding norms of other key social service professionals (e.g. early intervention teachers, therapists, psychologists, Heads of Agencies, executives).
(b) Increase supply
MCYS continues its efforts to increase the supply of key social service professionals progressively by widening training pipelines and offering more scholarships to attract promising and passionate Singaporeans to join the sector.
More local and overseas scholarships and study awards have been rolled out to attract and retain quality manpower for key professions in the sector. A new Prime Minister’s Social Service Award was launched on 5 April 2012 to encourage more Singaporeans to choose a career in social service. It will complement the current Social Service Scholarship awarded by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS).
More mid-career entrants are also considering a switch to the social service sector. The Professional Conversion Programme for Social Worker (PCPSW) attracted a significant number of applications this year. NCSS received over 300 applications for the programme in 2012.
(c) Enhance career advancement and professional development opportunities
The new tranche of the VWO-Capability Fund (VCF) has been set up in April 2012. The fund size has almost doubled from $53 million to $100 million to meet the needs of the social service sector in the next 5 years. Through the VCF Fund, there will be increased funding support for local and overseas training to build staff competency and improve management and governance capability of VWOs, and to support projects that bring about improvements to VWOs’ organisational practices and internal processes (e.g. in human resource management, service delivery, information management).
MCYS and Social Service Training Institute (SSTI) are also gradually gearing up the social service sector towards competency-based training and aligning training with the national Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) framework.
MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, YOUTH AND SPORTS
2 August 2012