From Sept 13, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the retail and food and beverage (F&B) sectors can tap into a new fund to get a subsidy of up to $21,000 for each local graduate they hire and train.
The subsidy for diploma holders is $15,000.
The $10.5 million programme, funded by Spring Singapore and run by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), hopes to draw 500 new graduates and diploma holders to take up jobs in the two sectors over the next three years.
It will ensure that Singaporeans continue to get "a good share of the jobs especially at the middle and higher levels" in these sectors, said NTUC deputy secretary-general Heng Chee How at the scheme's launch.
Some 27 SMEs have signed up for the scheme though no new hiring has been recorded yet.
NTUC director Yeo Guat Kwang, who is spearheading the programme, said graduates shun jobs in retail and F&B because of long hours and weekend work. They also complain of the lack of training and slow career growth.
"We cannot do much about working hours but at least the scheme will have a proper training and career plan," he added.
The NTUC also launched a progressive wage plan where professionals, managers and executives in retail and F&B can earn more than $5,000 a month via training and job restructuring.