A new Human Capital Partnership (HCP) programme has been launched in Singapore, which recognises "progressive employers" committing to three priority outcomes:

1. Nurturing human capital - Employers with 2/3rd local manpower and 1/3rd foreign manpower, whereby the Singaporean core comprises young entrants, working mothers, low wage workers, mature workers, mid-career PMETs, glocal talents and more.

2. Developing local talent for senior positions/specialist jobs (e.g. through skills transfer) - Employers to forge stronger complementarity between 2/3 local and 1/3 foreign manpower. Instead of taking in foreign manpower to displace and substitute local manpower, they should use foreign manpower to fulfil three gaps in the local workforce, namely, the number gap, skills gap and timing gap.

"In other words, instead of 2/3 versus 1/3, we believe that 2/3 and 1/3 is much better," said Minister for Manpower, Lim Swee Say, announcing the programme.

3. Implementing progressive workplace practices (e.g. age-friendly or work-life practices which support the employment of older workers and back-to-work women) - Employers to proactively transfer knowhow from foreign PMETs to local PMETs to help upgrade local capability. "So that 2/3 + 1/3 >1," said Minister Lim.

Launched by the Minister for Manpower at the 10th anniversary of the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) yesterday, the HCP programme is spearheaded by the tripartite partners, namely MOM, SNEF, and NTUC.

HCP-recognised progressive employers will enjoy "green lane service" through three benefits:

  • Responsiveness: Quick approvals of work passes and more responsive support, through a dedicated hotline and priority processing for transactions with Ministry for Manpower (MOM).
  • Recognition: Employers will get a HCP mark recognising them as an employer of choice.
  • Resources: One stop advisory service provided by TAFEP to better access various assistance grants, such as under Adapt & Grow, SkillsFuture and Lean Enterprise Development initiatives.

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Minister Lim added: "We will kick off the HCP by early next year, and we aim to grow the size of the HCP community to about 100 within six months, with progressive employers coming from all major sectors, and of all sizes."

"Unfair employment practices are bad. Fair is good, but progressive is better. We need to spread the culture and adoption of not just legal and fair employment practices, but progressive and best practices to more workplaces in Singapore," he said.

Douglas Foo, co-chairperson of TAFEP, and vice-president, SNEF, explained further: "Being a tripartite set-up of MOM, SNEF and NTUC, TAFEP has the benefit of leveraging on the tripartite partners, in reaching out to both employers and employees to spread the awareness of fair and progressive employment, and to make the push for better workplace practices."

READ MORE: Lim Swee Say: 6,400 PMETs found jobs through Adapt and Grow in 2016

At TAFEP’s 10th anniversary celebration, Human Resources spoke to Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say during a media interview.

"We are starting this HCP as an exclusive community at the beginning," Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say told Human Resources.

"We will be working closely with the economic agencies, with the sector agencies who have identified the employers who have adopt progressive employment practices and bring them onto the HCP, and over time, we hope that by working closely with them, through their success, through their progress, we will be able to attract even more of what we call the early majority.

"Broadly speaking, there are three types of employers in Singapore", Minister Lim said. "The majority are right in the middle."

"With the launch of the HCP, our objective is to try to migrate as many employers as possible who are adopting fair employment practices today to join the HCP community so that we can have more employers who can have progressive employment practices."

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Responding to Human Resources' question about how the the tripartite partners will ensure employers stay committed to the HCP's three priorities, he said, "we will assign account managers to work with them."

"We see them as partners so this means that we will work very closely with them, we know what they are doing and they know what we are trying to achieve," Minister Lim explained. "The idea is to strive for win-win outcomes."

"My belief is that the first group of companies that we bring on board, is unlikely to deviate from this commitment, because within the first group of companies - about 40 so far - each and every one of them has been adopting progressive employment practices for many years."

"They did it because they believed in it and not because of the incentives," he added.

"What we are trying to do is as the Chinese saying goes, 顺水推舟 (take advantage of the situation). Since they are already committed and doing all this good work, why don’t we come in to support them further so that their success and progress can encourage many more fair employers to step forward to join us to become progressive employers."

Scroll through the gallery below to check out some photos from the event.

[gallery link="file" ids="71909,71910,71911,71912"]

Photo / TAFEP