Changes coming up… watch for it. If I will have my say, it is that the people’s mentality will go a long way before any change can happen… locals have their ‘superiority complex’ and want to work as the boss, not the rank and file level… I could be wrong – until proven right time and again.

Leong Wee Keat,

MOST of the 45,000 new jobs to be created this year and next would go to Singaporeans, said Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong in Parliament on Friday. The Government will create some 18,000 jobs in the public sector, said the Minister, with “a majority” for professionals, managers, executives and technicians. The other 27,000 would be regulated by the foreign workers’ quota system, he added.

Mr Gan was responding to a clarification raised by Opposition Member of Parliament Low Thia Khiang (Hougang GRC), who had asked how many of the 45,000 new jobs would be for locals.

Earlier, the minister outlined the Manpower Ministry’s plans in response to MPs debate on President S R Nathan’s opening address to the second session of the 11th Parliament. Even though it may be more challenging in a recession, Mr Gan agreed that there is a need to continue to encourage employers to recruit and retain older workers.

“The labour market will tighten once the economy recovers and it is important for companies to realise this and maximise their ability to tap on the contributions of their older workers,” he said.

At least five MPs raised the issue of challenges faced by older workers in the downturn.

The minister also addressed Mr Low’s concerns on what the Government is doing to put the welfare of Singaporean workers first. Mr Gan said the Government has “tilted the balance in favour of local workers during this downturn” by improving their employability through the Skills Programme for Upgrading and Resilience and enhancing their cost competitiveness through the Jobs Credit Scheme.

As for foreign workers, he said his ministry will support the new Economic Strategies Committee headed by Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in looking at how Singapore can strike a balance and maximise the contributions from both the local and foreign workers.

Instead of looking at foreign manpower as competition, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Lim Swee Say said the local worker’s challenge would be to strive to be as good as the best in the world.

As to whether the Government has been overly protective of Singaporeans, Mr Lim — who is also the secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress — felt “it is never enough” as far as employment and employability are concerned.

Mr Lim assured Singaporean workers that the tripartite partners — the Government, unions and businesses — would “not spare any effort” to cut costs, save jobs and contain retrenchment.

Parliament was adjourned to a later date.

From; see the source article here.

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