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New Manpower Plan for the HR Industry in Singapore Launched

July 12, 2017

As an attempt to help strengthen HR profession that can adapt to business rapid transformation and growth, Singapore government has launched a new manpower plan on Monday (July 10).

The plan will cover three main areas in the industry. First, to improve the quality of HR leaders and professionals, there will be training and internship initiatives, along with national certification from the Institute for HR Professionals (IHRP). Second, to enhance business and employers’ knowledge about HR department, there will be mentorship programs, free advisory services, as well as an online resource website that is set to launch this year. Third, for the HR industry itself, Spring Singapore prepares a scheme that enables SMEs to outsource some HR operations with new technology.

Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo stated that based on the statistics, there is now about one HR professional for every 80 people in the workforce. However, the distribution and responsibility is uneven. While in small companies HR person can be non-existent, HR teams in bigger organisation are often expected only to deal with mundane administrative tasks, Straits Times reports.

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While in fact, Mrs Teo stated in front of 400 industry representatives that HR department holds the key to unravel Singapore’s talents and businesses’ great potential in adapting and transforming the industry. In a manpower-lean economy, companies need to work harder to fetch and retain the best talents.

Owing to this reason, there needs to be systematic HR management and better access to competent service providers. To keep employees engaged and productive, ensure business growth, and ensure employee satisfaction, there needs to be good HR.

Announced two years ago, the plan’s creation was initiated by Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say and developed by Sectoral Tripartite Committee. To design the plan, the committee includes representatives from the Government, unions, employers, HR bodies and associations, and academia.

One of the new initiatives included in the plan is a volunteer HR director scheme, a program where SMEs can get free advice about HR. About 20 SMEs have tried the scheme so far and Spring Singapore keeps expanding the pool of volunteers.

Meanwhile, applications at the basic and senior levels have been opened for the three-level IHRP certification which was launched earlier this year. The scheme also enables chief HR officers in organisations to be nominated by tripartite leaders, while the industry peers to be assessed as master professionals, which is the third and highest level. Aiming to certify 5,000 HR professionals over the next five years, until last year there were 88 people who were certified at the first two levels and three master professionals in the pilot program.

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