Over the next four years, Singapore’s Health Ministry will provide a SGD12 million boost to the community care sector. This is in line with efforts to attract more talent to join the field, as well as to support current staff in developing their careers, emphasised Senior Minister of State for Health Dr Amy Khor.

CCMDA as an expansion of current scholarships available

The funds will be channelled into the Community Care Manpower Development Award (CCMDA) scholarship scheme, administered by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC).

This newly introduced award would be a consolidation and expansion of the current four scholarships offered by the agency. All in all, the agency oversees community care in Singapore – e.g. nursing homes, senior care centres and day rehabilitation facilities.

Fresh community sector applicants can apply for the CCMDA to build a career in a vast range of healthcare expertise, such as social work, speech therapy and healthcare and therapy support. Prior to this, an AIC scholarship was not available to those looking to pursue careers in physiotherapy, occupational therapy or nursing.

This is indeed a good news for current staff, considering that the award will now also cover entry-level certificates – including courses related to corporate functions – on top of the degree and post-graduate programmes. Those covered by the scheme will be given the opportunity to secure an attachment with healthcare and community care facilities, both in Singapore and overseas.

More community care jobs to cater to the growing aged population

Speaking at the CCMDA ceremony held at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, Dr Khor expressed that “with an ageing population, Singapore needs to build a strong community care system, so that we can provide good care and support to our growing population of seniors.” It was reported that by 2030, the number of people aged 65 and older will double to 900,000.

In the past few years, the MOH “has invested consistently in enhancing the capacity, affordability and quality of aged care services”. It has “worked hand in hand with primary care and aged care providers to build a robust and comprehensive community care system,” she continued.

Dr Khor further elaborated that the MOH has been working closely with the AIC to attract more jobseekers – as part of its efforts in growing the “Singaporean core”. Other agencies have also partnered with AIC since 2015 to highlight community care jobs via recruitment fairs.

These efforts have led to over 450 locals successfully landing jobs in the sector over the past year, she announced. More than 100 people received their awards from Dr Khor during the annual ceremony. Out of these, 33 individuals were awarded with the CCMDA – kicking off the first batch of recipients.

Awardees will have the cost of their training co-funded by CCMDA and their hiring organisation. They are also required to serve a bond following training completion. MIMS

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