Singapore needs to create more jobs in the face of competition

The government has been urged to balance the employment needs of local workers while remaining open to foreign investment and manpower
By: | July 14, 2021

Writing in a Facebook post, NTUC deputy secretary-general Chee Hong Tat said free trade agreements (FTAs), including the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with India, benefit local workers as “without foreign investment and foreign manpower, we would not have achieved the economic growth and prosperity that we have today, and Singaporean workers would be worse off “. 

“In good times, our foreign complement enables us to grow quickly and create better job opportunities for Singaporeans. When the economy is not doing well, foreign workers help to cushion the impact that will otherwise fall on Singaporeans alone,” he wrote. 

Nevertheless, to further support local workers, the government has offered protection and safety nets in schemes such as Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) and Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) to Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) and Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI). 

“The Government also pays careful attention to managing the inflow of foreign workers,” Chee said. Ultimately, the government needs to “strike a realistic balance” of “more jobs, some competition”, he added. 

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Workers, on their part, can protect their jobs amid “global competition and economic disruption” through “training and skills upgrading”. The government will, on its part, ensure “fair hiring practices and developing a local talent pipeline” and “look closely at all the various options to strengthen support for Singaporeans in the workforce – including but not limited to anti-discrimination legislation”.