A rich network of talent in Singapore will benefit Singaporeans
- Straits Times (5 Oct 2022): "Knowledge and skills transfer from global talent easier said than done"
- Straits Times (5 Oct 2022): "Measurable objectives should be set and monitored for One Pass"
Manpower policy • A rich network of talent in Singapore will benefit Singaporeans - Straits Times, 8 Oct 2022
We refer to the letters, "Knowledge and skills transfer from global talent easier said than done" by Harry Ong Heng Poh and "Measurable objectives should be set and monitored for One Pass" by Lynne Tan (both 5 Oct).
As Mr Ong wrote, Singaporeans in general agree that Singapore needs complementary talent to help our economy to grow.
But direct knowledge and skills transfer from global talent to our local workforce is only one way locals benefit from an open and connected economy. The presence of global talent here will attract global firms to set up shop in Singapore and to expand their operations. This will create more good jobs for Singaporeans.
As Manpower (Minister) Tan See Leng observed in Parliament on Oct 3, the data bears this out. Over the past five years, more locals held higher-skilled PMET jobs (from 55% in 2016 to 62% in 2021). Moreover, local workers have experienced sustained wage growth across the board.
Real median income of full-time employed residents has grown 2.1% per annum. The new Complementarity Assessment Framework for Employment Pass candidates will let employers select high-quality candidates while encouraging employers to build a strong Singapore core through a points-based system.
Working in global firms and alongside global talent gives local workers exposure to new ideas and best practices. This is key to developing our local leadership bench strength.
Businesses should provide developmental opportunities to local talent, and local workers need to embrace challenging assignments, particularly regional and global positions.
The Government will continue to support our businesses and workers to do so.
The Singapore Business Federation has formed an Alliance for Action on Business Leadership Development to bring together businesses and local leaders to nurture promising Singaporeans.
We assure Ms Tan that Overseas Networks and Expertise (One) Pass holders are expected to contribute to our economy. A pass may be cancelled if there are extended periods of economic inactivity with no good reasons.
At the same time, we should recognise that beyond the tangible contributions of each individual pass holder, Singapore also benefits from anchoring a rich network of talent here. This in turn will attract more businesses and higher-value activities and open up even more opportunities for Singaporeans.
Divisional Director, Manpower Policy and Planning Division
Knowledge and skills transfer from global talent easier said than done - Straits Times, 5 Oct 2022
Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng assured Singaporeans that employers must practise fair consideration in their selection of candidates, and that the Ministry of Manpower will act against employers found to be discriminatory (S'poreans will not miss out on senior roles amid schemes to draw global talent: Minister, 1 Oct).
He said that having the right complementary talent here will add to the number of opportunities available to Singaporeans now and in the future.
Singaporeans agree that we need complementary talents here to help our economy to develop faster and grow stronger.
However, it is difficult to translate the expectations of knowledge and skills transfer into reality. People protect their own interests, and it is difficult to expect expatriates to train Singaporean subordinates who would eventually become a threat to their jobs.
Dr Tan said the Government supports businesses in growing the local talent pool through leadership development schemes such as the International Postings Programme.
I believe such schemes make more meaningful progress in the development of local talent.
Therefore, more resources should be channeled to them to achieve this mission, so that Singaporeans can climb the corporate ladder instead of "being trapped in middle management", a concern expressed by Workers' Party MP Jamus Lim.
Harry Ong Heng Poh
One Pass • Measurable objectives should be set and monitored, 5 Oct, Singapore - Straits Times, 5 Oct 2022
I am not fully convinced by Manpower Minister Tan See Leng's assurances that the new Overseas Networks and Expertise (One) Pass is good for Singaporeans (S'poreans will not miss out on senior roles amid schemes to draw global talent: Minister, Oct 1).
The One Pass is valid for five years and is not tied to any measurable objectives such as creation of jobs for Singaporeans or annual turnover.
The One Pass should be issued for a shorter period and be renewable yearly subject to meeting tangible criteria related to its stated objective of bringing in global talent who can create more opportunities for Singaporeans.
Please set proper criteria, then monitor and ensure compliance. Otherwise, the One Pass will just be a five-year Employment Pass at a higher qualifying salary.