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Ministry of Manpower's Addendum To The President’s Address

23 May 2014

  1. MOM’s goal is to enable all Singaporeans to secure good jobs, enjoy sustained increases in real incomes and have a more secure retirement. We also seek to build workplaces with progressive, safe and healthy practices, as well as harmonious industrial relations.
  2. Our ageing population and slowing Singaporean workforce growth mean that we must be more manpower efficient and productive. We will press on with our efforts to achieve quality and productivity-driven growth to ensure sustained increase in real incomes. We must reduce reliance on manpower-intensive practices, while raising the quality and productivity of both our local and foreign workforce. At the same time, we must maintain a pragmatic balance in our manpower policies to ensure that Singapore continues to remain attractive to investors and talent and companies have access to the human capital required for growth. These efforts will ultimately provide the basis for sustainable wage growth and a greater array of good jobs which meet the diverse aspirations and capabilities of our people.

    Right Skills for Quality Jobs and Higher Incomes
  3. Restructuring for higher productivity must continue. This will require determined and concerted efforts by all parties (employers, unions/workers, community, Government) working closely together.
  4. A workforce with the requisite skill-sets, knowledge, and experience is critical to achieving our goal of 2-3% per annum growth in productivity in this decade. The Continuing Education and Training (CET) Masterplan 2020 will focus on addressing the challenges of economic restructuring, and making the CET system responsive and relevant to evolving needs of industries, companies and individuals. We will continue to strengthen the culture of self-ownership for life-long learning and empower individuals to make informed decisions on upgrading.
  5. We are working with our tripartite partners to tailor training and job-matching services for the growing segment of Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) that have different learning needs and career profiles. We will also increase accessibility to training for SMEs and their workers, for example by expanding the Enterprise Training Support (ETS) scheme to support e-learning. This will help companies capitalise on advancements in e-learning technology.
  6. We will ensure that Singaporeans are fairly considered for work. The Fair Consideration Framework will take effect from Aug 2014 and facilitate Singaporeans’ access to better jobs. This will be launched in conjunction with the WDA Jobs Bank, a one-stop portal for employers and resident workers to match job seekers with companies’ manpower needs.

    Foster Inclusive Growth and Enhance Retirement Adequacy
  7. We will strengthen efforts to build an inclusive society where all citizens can aspire and work towards a better life, and where everyone can contribute and share in the nation’s progress. We will help uplift our low-wage workers through the creation of good jobs, skills upgrading, as well as both broad-based and targeted interventions where necessary to support increases in their real incomes. The tripartite push for the Progressive Wage Model will put in place a clear progression path for workers to upgrade and secure higher incomes. We will also step up enforcement and promotional efforts to ensure that our low-wage workers’ basic employment rights, CPF contributions and well-being are protected.
  8. Against the backdrop of increasing life expectancy and active ageing, the Retirement and Re-employment Act came into force in January 2012 to help older workers stay active and work longer. It is now timely to review the impact of this legislation as well as the Tripartite Guidelines on the Re-employment of Older Employees. We will consider further extension of the re-employment age from age 65 to age 67. Efforts to help older workers stay productive and employable will also continue.
  9. We will continue to review and make improvements to the CPF system in consultation with our tripartite partners, so that Singaporeans can retire with a peace of mind while taking into account the cost implication to employers.

    Develop Harmonious, Progressive and Safe Workplaces
  10. A strong Tripartite partnership is key to strengthening resilience and social cohesion, amidst our journey of economic restructuring. Industrial peace and harmonious labour relations will translate to more stable jobs for our workers and enhance Singapore’s attractiveness as a business location. We will reinforce the Tripartite foundation and work together to effectively address ongoing manpower challenges.
  11. Building harmonious, safe and progressive workplaces maximise the potential of our workforce. With an increasingly diverse and more educated workforce, we have extended the coverage of our Employment Act to include more workers – both PMEs and non-workmen. We will look into how unions can better represent the interest of PMEs and explore ways to provide access to affordable dispute resolution mechanisms. With the increasing prevalence of non-traditional working arrangements, we will also review how to better protect such workers through tripartite guidelines, or under the Employment Act.
  12. We will help employers build capabilities in adopting progressive employment practices, through the expanded Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices. These will include Work-life, age management and best sourcing practices.
  13. We will strengthen our system of enforcement and penalties to provide sufficient deterrence to any attempt by errant employers to circumvent our manpower policies or to compromise on basic employment standards. We will also step up our efforts to ensure that the well-being of foreign workers is looked after, and manage the large foreign worker presence, including the provision of reasonable living conditions and amenities.
  14. We will adopt a Total Workplace Safety and Health approach by integrating measures to enhance workplace safety with health and well-being promotion. We will enhance our risk management framework for Workplace Safety and Health, re-double efforts to strengthen capabilities of WSH professionals and nurture a strong WSH culture and mindset among both employers and workers, so as to reduce the workplace fatality rate to less than 1.8 per 100,000 workers by 2018.