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Small Stitches, Big Difference

Great video on a former seamstress working at Edwards Lifesciences, an American MNC in Singapore producing replacement heart valves (likewise, careful stitching required). Good to see foreign MNCs taking innovative steps to engage our older workers, creating win-win situations. The jobs created are the kinds Singaporeans look for – good career progression, work benefits, and meaningful!

PM Lee on population issues at the Debate on President’s Address

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke about development in population issues during his speech at the Debate on President’s Address on 28 May 2014. Recapping the changes so far, PM Lee said that the inflow of foreign workers per year has almost halved since 2011. This fall in growth is even more significant when excluding construction workers.

But these changes have to be carefully managed. Companies especially SMEs are feeling the pain. If firms cannot survive, many Singaporean jobs will be at risk. To help firms adapt to the new environment, the government has introduced various schemes including the Productivity and Innovation Credit.

Closer attention is also being paid to manage the inflow of two groups of foreign workers – foreign Professionals, Managers and Executives (PMEs) and foreign construction workers.

For foreign PMEs, “the issue here is less about the numbers, but about the quality of foreign PMEs and also about fair treatment for Singaporean PMEs”, he said. To ensure a level playing field for Singaporeans, the government will be implementing the Fair Consideration Framework from August this year.

On foreign construction workers, their social impact will be much felt given their larger numbers. While the government has tightened their inflow and pushed for productivity improvements, there are still many construction projects in need of workers. It will be a necessary trade-off to defer some of these projects such as the extensions for Gardens by the Bay and a new Science Centre at Marina East to reduce the number of workers required.

NPTD’s Addendum to the President’s Address

The President’s Address delivered in Parliament on 19 May 2014 had set out the Government’s plans for a better Singapore over the next few years.

Singapore is our home and we are committed to seeing our country flourish as a liveable city and an endearing home. The National Population and Talent Division will continue to work towards our vision of a sustainable population where Singaporeans are the heart of our nation, where we have opportunities to pursue our aspirations, and which we are proud to call our home.

Pre-school children posing at a playground

Our focus is on the following three key areas:

  • Sustaining our citizen population through a supportive environment for marriage and parenthood, engagement of overseas Singaporeans, and the integration of new immigrants;
  • Providing more opportunities as well as quality care for our rapidly increasing number of seniors, so that they remain active in society; and
  • Taking a balanced approach to slow the growth of our foreign workforce, while maintaining a vibrant economy with opportunities and jobs of the future for Singaporeans.
  • For more details, please refer to NPTD’s Addendum to the President’s Address (103kb .pdf).