Singapore Employers Urge AI Adoption Grants and Extended Support in Budget 2024

Singapore Employers Urge AI Adoption Grants and Extended Support in Budget 2024

The Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) has recommended that Budget 2024 include specific grants to encourage corporate adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance business productivity and competitiveness. In the Budget 2024 proposal submitted to the government, SNEF also suggested extending existing support schemes to alleviate employers’ wage cost pressure and bolster foreign-local capability transfer.

The proposal is based on a survey conducted in October, reflecting the current and future challenges employers face. Of the 237 surveyed members, over one-third expressed the need for increased support to improve productivity and competitiveness through AI adoption. SNEF recommended better-subsidized training for AI-related courses and specific grants to facilitate AI adoption.

With more than 86% of respondents seeking additional government support for upskilling and reskilling the workforce, SNEF proposed higher absentee payroll funding and course-fee funding in addition to existing measures like SkillsFuture enterprise credit. The aim is to assist employers in equipping workers with the necessary skills to stay relevant in a rapidly changing world while keeping training costs affordable.

SNEF president Dr. Robert Yap said, ” As we press on with economic restructuring and business transformation to build capabilities and seize opportunities in a new era of global development, we hope that Budget 2024 will continue to include measures to help employers thrive.”

Three in four employers expect higher wage costs in 2024 due to changes in the Central Provident Fund (CPF). To address this concern, SNEF suggested extending the CPF Transition Offset and providing transitional support to increase the CPF monthly salary ceiling.

Acknowledging the cumulative increases in manpower costs with the expansion of the progressive wage model and the introduction of occupational progressive wages, SNEF proposed maintaining the co-funding levels for both tiers of the progressive wage credit scheme (PWCS) in 2024 at the 2023 levels. Additionally, an extension of the PWCS to 2030 was recommended.

In response to employers, especially from large companies, seeking more support for capability transfer from foreign to local workers, SNEF proposed increasing the funding and duration of the Capability Transfer Programme. This program subsidizes the costs of sending local workers overseas for training or engaging foreign specialists to train local workers.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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