SINGAPORE — The labour market is set to remain tight till 2020, and even tighter all the way to 2030.
And with the tightening of the labour market spurring a faster pace of economic restructuring, the labour movement said it is determined to keep upgrading workers’ skills and creating good jobs.
It is also calling for an adjustment in Singaporeans’ mindset, to “change our economy, our workforce and our society for the better”, in order to succeed in the restructuring journey, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Secretary-General Lim Swee Say said in his May Day Message today (Apr 27).
In his Message, Mr Lim noted that Singapore’s economic growth is healthy, and wages continue to move up faster than inflation.
“These achievements are hard-earned. I salute our workers and tripartite partners for their hard work, resilience and unity,” he said.
Moving forward, the NTUC Secretary-General pointed to three areas of change Singapore would have to go through.
Employers have to learn to learn to make better use of every worker, and treat every worker better, Mr Lim said.
“Competition for good people will not ease. Only better employers can attract and retain better people and grow more profitably.”
Secondly, Singaporeans have to “value our jobs more and take greater pride in what we do.”
Finally, as the Republic strives to become a more advanced economy, it must also strive to be “a nation of better customers and better people.”
“The globalised world thrives on mutual dependency, mutual support and mutual acceptance. Good services beget good customers, and good customers beget good services,” Mr Lim said.
In her message, meanwhile, NTUC President Diana Chia said the labour movement is working closely with the Manpower Ministry to amend the Industrial Relations Act, to allow stronger union representation for professionals, managers and executives (PMEs).
The NTUC is also looking at extending its union membership outreach to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as they employ a large proportion of the workforce, Ms Chia said.