Significant tightening of labour market expected as workforce growth slows: Tan Chuan-Jin

March 10, 201510:03 am415 views
Significant tightening of labour market expected as workforce growth slows: Tan Chuan-Jin
Significant tightening of labour market expected as workforce growth slows: Tan Chuan-Jin

SINGAPORE – The local workforce is expected to grow at a slower pace of around 20,000 per year in the last part of the decade, compared to 95,000 last year, said Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin today (March 9). He cautioned of a “very significant tightening of the labour market going forward” and urged companies to come up with manpower-lean operations.

Mr Tan pointed to baby boomers in Singapore gradually exiting the workforce as smaller cohorts enter, while the Government continues in its efforts to tighten foreign manpower growth

Speaking at the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Committee of Supply debate, he noted that the foreign workforce growth last year — at about 26,000 — was one third of the growth in 2011, when the figure was about 80,000.

With this smaller pool of foreign workforce, companies have turned to hiring more locals, and local employment growth doubled to 95,000 last year, compared to 38,000 in 2011, he noted.

Still, Mr Tan said there is no change in the Government’s direction to taper foreign manpower growth.

“Taken together with the slowdown on local workforce growth in these coming years, companies must note that we will experience a very significant tightening of the labour market going forward,” he said. “If businesses do not become more manpower-lean, if they do not become more productive, they will have great difficulty in finding enough manpower – whether local or foreign – to run their operations”.

He urged companies to tap onto technology advancements to increase productivity and innovate, in order to retain their competitive advantage.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this report quoted Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin saying the local workforce is expected to grow at a slower pace of around 20,000 per year over the next few years. This is incorrect. The local workforce is expected to grow at a slower pace of around 20,000 per year in the last part of the decade. We are sorry for the error.

 

news source & image credits: todayonline.com

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