Right jobs, right skills key to transforming Singapore’s economy: PM Lee

May 3, 201610:38 am590 views
Right jobs, right skills key to transforming Singapore’s economy: PM Lee
Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. (File photo: MCI)

SINGAPORE: To transform its economy, Singapore needs to ensure that it offers the right jobs, its workers have the right skills, and there is a good match between the two, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his May Day message.

Tripartism is key to achieving this goal. Employers must envision the future of their business and work with Government and the Labour Movement to redesign jobs and develop their talent with this vision in mind. Workers must actively partner with employers to upgrade their skills, and stay relevant for the future,” he said.

Singapore’s economy grew by 2.1 per cent last year – the slowest pace since the 2009 financial crisis, Mr Lee said, adding that growth is expected to remain at between 1 and 3 per cent this year.

To stay competitive, Singaporeans must become more productive, innovative and adaptable, and constantly develop new and better ways of doing things, he said.

“These are not easy tasks, and can only be achieved if Government, businesses and workers work together,” he said. “The Government is committed to this transformation process, and to supporting those ready and willing to make the effort.”

This is why the recent Budget focused on new economic measures, including partnering with industry players to develop sectoral transformation roadmaps and investing more in research and development and technology, Mr Lee said.

“While these programmes are not narrowly targeted at workers, they will benefit workers, and all Singaporeans, by helping to keep our economy strong and creating good jobs.”

PM Lee also called on workers to participate in SkillsFuture, to take charge of their learning, upgrade their skills and be ready for the jobs that are being created. The new “Adapt and Grow” initiative will also help mid-career and retrenched workers adapt to changing demands in the labour market, and renew their skills to meet them, he said.

This is not the first time Singapore has had to reinvent its economy, he noted.

“We succeeded in the past because Government, employers and the Labour Movement came together to realise the shared vision of improving lives for all. I am confident that we will succeed again if we stay united, and work resolutely and patiently at this goal. Together, we can ensure a brighter future for all Singaporeans.”

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