Singapore Will Ensure Incoming Work Pass Holders Are In Sectors That “Need Them The Most”
While some countries in the world turn inwards, Singapore, being a small and resource-scarce nation, cannot afford to do so.
However, the Government will still do their best to protect Singaporeans and local members of the workforce.
Speaking at a National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) dialogue on Tuesday (28 Jun), Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Lawrence Wong assured Singaporeans that the Government will be updating the country’s policies to better manage the inflow of Work Pass (WP) holders.
Specifically, Mr Wong said that such workers will be contributing to sectors where Singapore requires them most.
Singapore will ensure incoming Work Pass holders complement & not displace local workers
Addressing unionists at an NTUC dialogue on Tuesday (28 Jun), Mr Wong shared that Singapore will be updating its manpower policies to ensure that WP holders are working in sectors where “we need them the most”.
Most importantly, their role will serve to complement our existing local workforce, and not displace them.
Mr Wong also assured Singaporean workers that they will continue to be at the heart of everything the Government does.
For example, Singapore will continue to invest in upskilling and retraining local workers. The Government will also continue to uplift vulnerable workers through schemes like the Workfare and Progressive Wage Models.
To prevent acts of discriminatory hiring, the authorities apparently intend to enact a new law to “uphold fair employment practices”.
In this vein, they will not hesitate to take action against any employer that discriminates on the basis of factors like:
Similarly, to address Singaporeans’ anxieties, Mr Wong assured workers that the income and wealth gap will not widen and that “every Singaporean has a fair share in the benefits of growth”.
In fact, harking back to Budget 2022, Mr Wong said that the Government will continue strengthening our nation’s progressive system of taxes and transfers which follows the principle of ‘everyone contributes something, but those with more, contribute more’.
Singapore must remain open to talents & opportunities
In the face of economic challenges, Mr Wong stressed that Singapore must continue to remain open to opportunities and talents from around the world.
After all, it’s only through the open market system that Singapore can create wealth, maintain a vibrant economy, and provide good opportunities for Singaporeans.
However, Mr Wong acknowledged that the open market system isn’t flawless:
But we also know that if left unchecked, the workings of the free market can lead to excessive competition and rising inequalities.
Hence, the Government has always refrained from a ‘winner takes all’ regime. Instead, they do their best to counter the effects of external competition by upgrading the local workforce.
Singaporean workers are at the heart of Government policies
Even though some countries may afford to take an inward approach, Singapore, with its small domestic economy and scarce resources, cannot afford to do so.
Despite our limitations, we’re glad that the Government is finding ways around them to achieve the best possible outcome.
Not only are they ensuring that our economy continues to thrive, but they’re also keeping the local workforce’s welfare in mind.
We hope that any upcoming new policies will fulfil this goal effectively, so Singaporeans will continue to be confident in our economy.
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Featured image adapted from Lawrence Wong ST on Facebook.