Companies in Singapore are offering employment to ex-convicts in an attempt to curb the city-state’s manpower shortage, AFP reports.

Singapore releases roughly 10,000 offenders each year. According to minister of state Heng Chee How, Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (Score) teamed up with more than 3,100 companies, a sharp increase from 2,872 employers in 2011. Score provides workplace skills training for 5,000 ex-convicts and places 2,000 former prisoners in partner companies every year, the Straits Times reports. Score chief executive Teo Tze Fang said the agency is seeking to train former prisoners in specific skill to bolster their qualification.

“Ex-offenders are a source of valuable Singaporean manpower,” Heng told AFP. Singapore is facing labour shortage after imposing restrictions on foreign workers.

The influx of migrant workers raised locals’ concern on competition in the labour market rapidly dominated by foreigners.