Statistics from Ministry of Manpower saw growth of local employment, especially Singaporean PMETs (professionals, managers, executives and technicians). Over the past three years, the number of employment pass (EP) holders grew by 17,000. This figure was eclipsed by 105,000 PMET hiring during the same time, indicating that efforts to encourage companies hiring more locals have been successful.
Speaking at the the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) Singapore’s Distinction Evening on Friday (Sep 29), Minister of Manpower Lim Swee Say said that current statistics is a setback from 2011 to 2013, when the combination of S Pass and EP holders employment exceeded the growth of local PMETs employment.
Since introduced in 2014 and further strengthened in 2016, Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) has led to a fair and balanced outcome for business and Singaporeans, said Mr Lim. The initiative has focused on closer scrutiny to about 300 firms with unfair hiring practices listed on MOM’s watchlist and EP applications. Additionally, Mr Lim stated that Singapore needs to maintain a fine balance between being pro-business and being pro-worker, Channel News Asia reports.
While Mr Lim realised that some businesses might think that Ministry of Manpower (MOM) was “not pro-business enough” and that it should have let in more foreign workers to fill in the talent crunch, some Singaporeans have said the flow of foreign manpower should have been tightened more.
“From MOM’s perspective, liberalising the inflow of foreign manpower is a win-lose: businesses win but workers lose. Over tightening the inflow of foreign manpower is a lose-win: businesses lose but workers win. And this is only in the short term. Eventually, in the longer term, whether it is a win-lose or lose-win, both will become lose-lose, as neither is sustainable,” he added.
The Minister also saw the need to maximise the full potential of workers and enhance the inclusiveness of the workforce. There are more to be done by the ministry to minimise redundancy caused by rapid tech disruptions. Citing finance industry, Mr Lim was most encouraged by the commitment of major consumer banks to retain their 3,500 existing employees over the next few years.
The IBF has also created a new digital curriculum for the industry to distinguish a suite of capabilities under its standards, which provides a roadmap for financial sector professionals.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) Managing Director Ravi Menon said, “The next step is for financial institutions to work with staff, particularly those in jobs undergoing transformation, to help them explore possible pathways and acquire the skills of the future.”
Mr Menon, who is also chairman their of IBF, added, “Ultimately, whether we transform and succeed will depend on our finance professionals taking ownership of their own professional development.“