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Bosses worried about negative effect of AEC

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An overwhelming 80% of workers in the region said they would prefer to work in Singapore under the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

This is according to a survey which looked into the concerns workers and employers have about the AEC, an initiative which aims to encourage easier economic cooperation and integration across the region from 2015.

The survey, which was conducted on a pool of 2,006 workers from various positions and industries, found up to 67% of them saw an overall possibility of finding a better paying job, with 52% of them intending to look for new job opportunities under the AEC.

However, not everyone is excited about the new community; 47% of respondents expressed concerns about the negative effects from job movement, such as losing their jobs to workers from neighbouring countries.

The survey also revealed one third of workers anticipated higher job turnover rates due to increased job opportunities as a result of the borderless job market.

Another third felt the AEC would leverage the labour quality and capabilities, “since the workers must improve their skills for new challenges”.

An additional survey conducted by the company in early November on 267 employers, found 58% of them would recruit labour from neighbouring countries such as Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, respectively.

“Everyone should think about preparing themselves for the competition in the job market, especially in English skill improvement which will undoubtedly become the main languages for the AEC,” Thanaporn Satitpunwaycha, country manager of Recruitment (Thailand), said.

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