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Non-grads in civil service get boost to salary and career paths

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Non-graduates can now look forward to better prospects, as far as salaries and career paths are concerned.

Announcing changes to allow non-graduates to advance in their careers based on performance and potential rather than just on their paper qualifications, the Public Service Division (PSD) said that non-graduates can look forward to “faster career progression for Management Support Officers from October 2014”, and that more graduate and non-graduate schemes will be merged.

The PSD said that most non-graduates in the Civil Service are currently hired under the Management Support Scheme.

“Management Support Officers can already progress to take on similar jobs as graduates, and be paid comparable salaries when they demonstrate the required performance and capabilities,” it said in a statement on its website.

“From October 2014, Management Support Officers who perform well and are assessed to be ready to take on larger responsibilities can expect faster career progression,” the PSD added.

“These officers can receive their first promotion in two to four years compared to the current three to six years. If they continue to do well, their subsequent promotions will also be faster.”

The changes come after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his National Day Rally speech in August that the public service would take the lead in enhancing the career prospects and meeting the aspirations of non-graduates.

Mr James Wong, Deputy Secretary (Policy), Public Service Division, Prime Minister’s Office, said:

“While fresh graduate and non-graduate officers are appointed at different starting salaries, it is their job performance and relevant skills that determine their career progression. As long as an officer does his work well and shows the potential to take on larger responsibilities, he will move up the ranks whether or not he is a graduate.

“Or put it another way, graduates and non-graduates can now progress at similar rates, based on their level of performance and potential.”

In his speech, PM Lee had called for “a cultural shift” because “this is about our values, about how we value people.”

He said, “[Singapore] must always be a place where everyone can feel proud of what they do, where you are respected for your contributions and your character and anyone can improve his life if he works hard and everyone can hope for a better future.”

The Public Service will take the lead in this, PM Lee said, and it will place greater weight on job performance and relevant skills instead of just starting qualifications.

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Here is the PSD statement in full:

Public Service improves career prospects for non-graduates

Faster career progression for Management Support Officers from October 2014; more graduate and non-graduate schemes to be merged

Faster career progression

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his National Day Rally speech on 16 August, 2014 that the Public Service can and will do more to support the aspirations of non-graduates.

Most non-graduates in the Civil Service are currently hired under the Management Support Scheme. Management Support Officers can already progress to take on similar jobs as graduates, and be paid comparable salaries when they demonstrate the required performance and capabilities. 

From October 2014, Management Support Officers who perform well and are assessed to be ready to take on larger responsibilities can expect faster career progression.  These officers can receive their first promotion in two to four years compared to the current three to six years. If they continue to do well, their subsequent promotions will also be faster.

More graduate and non-graduate schemes to be merged

PM Lee also spoke about merging more graduate and non-graduate schemes to give our officers the opportunity to progress on the same career track.  Such single schemes of service are already available in several public agencies. In the People’s Association (PA), the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) and the Home Team Specialist Scheme, non-graduates and graduates enter at different points of their respective schemes. They progress in the same career scheme based on their performance and readiness to take on larger roles.

Currently, most graduates join the Public Service under the Management Executive Scheme. The Public Service Division is studying merging the Management Executive Scheme and the Management Support Scheme.

PUB, Singapore’s national water agency, is also developing a single engineering career path where diploma holders and Institute of Technical Education graduates can progress up the ranks, to take on wider engineering or managerial responsibilities.

Commenting on the review to improve career prospects for non-graduates, Mr James Wong, Deputy Secretary (Policy), Public Service Division, Prime Minister’s Office, said:

“While fresh graduate and non-graduate officers are appointed at different starting salaries, it is their job performance and relevant skills that determine their career progression. As long as an officer does his work well and shows the potential to take on larger responsibilities, he will move up the ranks whether or not he is a graduate.

“Or put it another way, graduates and non-graduates can now progress at similar rates, based on their level of performance and potential.

“We will develop good officers, for example, by letting them manage projects and lead teams. Opportunities for further education and training will be provided for officers to continually upgrade their skills, and help them to take on bigger jobs when they are ready.”