As job growth slows, government to put greater focus on local workers

13 Feb 17

SINGAPORE

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Amid predictions for weaker job growth in the coming three to five years, the government has announced that it will integrate the Jobs Bank portal with the SkillsFuture platform, allowing Singaporean workers to search for training opportunities and job vacancies at the same time.

What does the change mean? The lower job growth predictions indicate that unemployment remains a concern for the Ministry of Manpower and it is focusing on helping the local workforce match work skills with job vacancies.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Who is affected: All companies hiring and assigning workers in Singapore.  
  • Business impact: Employers in Singapore should plan for a greater government emphasis on matching local workers with job openings, as well as a potentially stricter environment for hiring foreign workers.

Background: Last week, Minister of Manpower Lim Sway See indicated that job growth will plateau at about 25,000 to 40,000 jobs per year in the next three to five years, down from previous years with annual job growth of 100,000 to 120,000 jobs.

The job growth numbers follow a recent jobs report indicating that nearly half of all job vacancies were for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) and most job openings were in education, healthcare, information and communications, and service-related occupations.

Lim said the agency will focus on assisting professionals advance beyond entry-level jobs, giving small and medium enterprises better access to PMETs, and making the workforce more inclusive for all workers.

BAL Analysis: In light of the predictions for slower job growth, authorities in Singapore will continue to focus on promoting the local workforce, which may lead to greater scrutiny of foreign workers and employment pass applications.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in Singapore. For additional information, please contact singapore@balglobal.com.

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