Singapore opens door wider to Chinese workers after shutting it to Indians

After barring Indian construction workers over Covid fears, Singapore’s Multi-Ministry Taskforce this week loosened restrictions on Chinese workers entering the country to give relief to construction companies.

From 7 May, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and Ministry of Manpower will introduce a six-month scheme allowing Chinese workers to enter the country without having to enrol in Overseas Testing Centres in China for skill certification.

The workers will instead be able to get their skills certification in Singapore.

BCA said the plan reflects the fact that some testing centres in China were still shut, creating obstacles for prospective workers from there.

Employers can submit their applications to BCA’s Approved Training and Testing Centres from 7 May.

The government will also grant an extra 49-day time extension to public sector construction contracts hit by Covid-related delays "to help ease contractors’ cashflow and relieve anxiety on being unable to meet project timelines".

This is on top of the earlier 122 days provided earlier under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

To further aid contractors’ cash flow, Singapore will also also provide 0.1% of the awarded contract sum for every month of delay as payment, a move that applies to eligible contracts up to a contract sum of S$100m.

Image by Kelvin Zyteng/Unsplash

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