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Government pilots new scheme to facilitate hiring foreign talent in local tech firms

The scheme would facilitate the EP applications for foreigners who are hired as core team members of Singapore-based technology firms and would make it easier for companies to get the talent they need

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The Government is piloting a new scheme to facilitate the hiring of foreign talent in local technology firms and provide more flexibility for employment pass (EP) application for foreign talent.

The scheme was announced by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Enterprise Singapore, yesterday (31 July).

The Government agencies, which are both statutory boards under the Ministry for Trade and Industry, said that the scheme would facilitate the EP applications for foreigners who are hired as core team members of Singapore-based technology firms and indicated that this would make it easier for companies to get the talent they need.

The EDB and Enterprise Singapore said that high-potential companies in growth areas such as digital, medtech, biotech, cleantech, agritech and fintech will be eligible to join the scheme that provides access to business networks and talent needed to set up new teams.

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They added that this includes facilitating the entry of core team members and connecting the companies to relevant organisations and start-ups here, but did not give details as to how this would be done.

Declining to give details on how the EP applications for foreign talent under this new scheme would be processed differently, an EDB spokesman told the Straits Times that the scheme would allow for more flexibility in the EP applications of some staff.

According to the Ministry of Manpower, foreign professionals with acceptable qualifications who have a job offer in Singapore for a managerial, executive or specialised position with a salary of at least S$3,600 can apply for an EP. This usually means that the foreigner must have a good university degree, professional qualifications or specialist skills.

Under the new scheme, however, more flexibility will be given to EP applicants. Indicating that the scheme could allow the hiring of foreigners who have deep skills in place of formal academic qualifications” and could allow companies to pay staff with stock options instead of at least $3,600 monthly salary, the EDB spokesperson said:

“This includes considering alternative factors in the application if needed, such as the stock options remuneration of the core team members, or if they have .”

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