SINGAPORE : An "Elderly Credits Scheme" - to subsidise senior citizens' wages for firms who hire them - has been proposed by the winners of an annual policy-making competition.

Organised by the civil service, the contest lets Singapore's tertiary students play the role of national decision-makers for the day.

In the Public Policy Challenge, the students were tasked with providing solutions to issues arising from the rapidly ageing population in Singapore.

Participants went on visits to two eldercare centres to get a better grasp of the real-life issues that senior citizens deal with.

Victor Sim, leader of Team Uni, the winning team of the competition, said: "We realised that the elderly really want to be independent, and the way to do so is for them to be able to work.

"And that is why we came up with this scheme to 'encourage' them to work, as well as incentivise the public sector to take them in."

Lim Soo Hoon, Permanent Secretary of the Public Service Division, and chief judge of the Public Policy Challenge 2010, said: "What is useful in an exercise like this is that you get people who want to give you a different perspective.

"It is also interesting and useful for us to hear the perspectives of the young people - not just talk, but talk based on something that they had some time to look into."

Over 320 students took part in this year's Challenge.

Channel NewsAsia - Students propose "Elderly Credits Scheme" to grow workforce of active agers -