Oral Answer to PQ on Compass Shortage Occupation List
NOTICE PAPER NO. 1861 AND 1865 OF 2023 FOR THE SITTING ON OR AFTER 24 April 2023
QUESTION NO. 4478 FOR ORAL ANSWER
MP: Mr Desmond Choo
To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what are the key considerations and matrices used to decide on the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) Shortage Occupation List; and (b) how does the Ministry balance between economic needs and ensuring these jobs are available for prospective new entrants, especially those who are still in school.
QUESTION NO. 4485 FOR ORAL ANSWER
MP: Mr Liang Eng Hwa
To ask the Minister for Manpower with regard to the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) Shortage Occupation List (a) how does the Ministry determine if there is a shortage in any particular occupation; (b) whether the Ministry has the expertise to evaluate if there is a shortfall in a specialised skillset and it is unavailable in the local workforce; and (c) how does the Ministry track whether a company has fulfilled its commitment to develop local talents as part of the conditions under the framework.
I will address Mr Desmond Choo’s and Mr Liang Eng Hwa’s questions on the design of the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) Shortage Occupation List (SOL) together.
2 MOM and MTI evaluate occupations for the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) Shortage Occupation List (SOL) based on three criteria: first, the strategic importance of the occupation to Singapore’s economic priorities; second, the degree and nature of labour shortage; and third, the sector’s commitment to developing the local pipeline to address these shortages.
3 Labour shortages are assessed based on a set of quantitative indicators, and we derive these data from MOM’s Job Vacancy Survey, and data from the MyCareersFuture job portal on job applications and vacancies. We also supplement this with qualitative assessments from the relevant sector agencies, alongside with feedback and ground sensing from industry and tripartite partners. Altogether, this provides a good degree of triangulation, MOM and MTI with a fuller understanding of labour market shortage conditions in the respective industries.
4 The SOL does not stand alone as a strategy to meet industry demand for skilled professionals. While the SOL helps companies access foreign professionals to plug immediate skills gaps and seize economic opportunities, it must also be complemented by robust efforts by industry to train up and place locals into these well-paying jobs. Hence, there must be clear plans, clear commitments by industry to develop the local pipeline, or else the occupation will not be included in the SOL.
5 To Mr Liang Eng Hwa’s question on tracking of commitments to develop the local pipeline, MOM and MTI work closely with sector agencies to set commitments around local training and employment at the aggregate occupation level. Rather than mandating fixed commitments for each firm, sector agencies have the flexibility to work closely with firms, industry partners, and education and training providers on plans to train and employ more locals with these skills in shortage. We will review that these commitments are met, as a key condition for renewing an occupation on the SOL.
6 To Mr Desmond Choo’s question on ensuring jobs are available for prospective new entrants, we regularly review the SOL to ensure it remains responsive to changes in the labour market, including taking into account our local graduate pipelines. MOM and MTI will continue to closely monitor indicators of shortage for each occupation, and we will also track local graduate outcomes for the SOL occupations. The SOL will be reset every three years, and we intend to adjust it annually to add or remove occupations if there are significant changes in industry demand or supply of skilled workers. This will help us to avoid entrenching dependencies on EP holders in any occupation.