Apart from the four written answers to Parliamentary Questions, Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say also delivered the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (Amendment) Bill 2016, Second Reading Speech at Parliament yesterday.

During the speech, Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say pointed out the three key areas in which Workforce Singapore (WSG) under MOM will strive to do in order to be both pro-worker and pro-business.

  • At the worker level, WSG will not only help individuals find jobs but also help them build careers at all life stages.
  • At the workforce level, WSG will strengthen the inclusiveness of our local workforce in the face of disruptive change.
  • At the industry and company level, WSG will help businesses create better quality jobs to attract and build a stronger Singaporean core.

Lim further noted that creating better jobs and building a stronger Singaporean core should be a "key priority for firms as workforce growth will slow and competition for manpower will only become keener."

"WSG will support companies to adopt new business models, be more manpower lean, and create progressive workplaces to fully utilise the skills and talent of our workers," he said.

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He pointed out that workers can expect WSG to be worker-centric, covering all their career stages.

At the same time, industry and businesses can expect WSG to be employer-centric, working in partnership with sector agencies and tripartite partners to help them develop manpower pipeline in each sector.

The WSG will also pay attention to SMEs and continue to help companies and clusters of firms to become more manpower-lean and innovative through schemes such as the Lean Enterprise Development Scheme.

"In addition, it will work with businesses to redesign jobs and improve HR practices so that they can turn their human resources into their human capital," Lim said.

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Lastly, it will leverage new technology and platforms to widen the reach and impact of its services.

"Beyond physical touch points, WSG will develop new service models, such as e-services and online career fairs, and also provide timely and customised information and career guidance to individuals at different stages of their careers."

"It will also move towards leveraging data analytics and smart technology to find new ways to optimise matching between jobseekers and employers."

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Additionally, he pointed out that to avoid ending up with the challenges many countries are now facing – high youth unemployment, sticky unemployment, and declining labour force participation, Singapore must get three things right:

Quicken the transformation of industry, to make every job a better job. He noted that MTI and sector agencies are leading this effort to create the new industries, new businesses, and new jobs of the future.

Quicken the transformation of the workforce, to make every worker a better worker. "MOE is leading the effort to inculcate lifelong learning, from pre-employment education to professional and continuing education. SkillsFuture Singapore is the new agency tasked with this," Lim said.

Match every better worker to every better job, and make every career a better career for all Singaporeans. He highlighted that as Singapore transforms As we transform the industry and the workforce, it is crucial that we keep the two in sync.

"If workforce transformation lags behind industry transformation, workers will miss the opportunities for better jobs while businesses will not have the manpower they need," he explained.

"We would end up with higher structural unemployment and an over-reliance on foreign manpower.

"On the other hand, if industry transformation lags behind workforce transformation, there will be a shortage of quality jobs for our people leading to higher under-employment."

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