In July, the Economic Development Board and Enterprise Singapore announced Tech@SG, a new two-year scheme to help fast-growth tech firms employ foreign talents more easily.
Piloting in the fourth quarter of 2019, the programme will give companies more flexible requirements through which they can apply for employment passes (EP).
The two agencies said this is aimed to spur growth in digital, medtech, biotech, cleantech, agritech and fintech firms in Singapore.
They will also gain access to business networks and talent needed to set up new teams.
For Firms Set Up In S’pore, With US$10M In VC Funding
Revealing more about Tech@SG in Parliament on 2 September, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said firms must have secured more than US$10 million in the total of their venture capital funding to qualify.
They must also have received funding from a VC recognised by Tech@SG within the past 36 months.
Chan said this is to “ensure the companies would have sufficient resources and readiness to internationalise and compete”, as a prerequisite to tapping on the scheme.
He then addressed doubts about whether Tech@SG is needed in a time of economic uncertainty, when people are concerned that the Government should be focused on safekeeping local talent.
“We will never stop putting Singaporeans at the heart of everything we do,” Chan said.
“However, we must not go down the path of other countries who have started to put up barriers and take an inward-looking, protectionist approach not just to trade, but including talent.”
He added that Tech@SG comes in to “complement our local pipeline with skilled workers from all around the world” in order to meet surging demand from companies in Singapore.
The scheme is meant for firms that are incorporated in Singapore, and those that qualify will also remain subject to the Ministry of Manpower’s Fair Consideration Framework, meaning they still have to ensure they gave fair consideration to locals before hiring EP holders.
Featured Image Credit: gov.sg