Skip to main content

Speech at Singapore HR Awards 2017 Presentation Gala

Mr Sam Tan, Minister of State for Manpower, Peony Ballroom, Sands Expo and Convention Centre

Mr Erman Tan, President SHRI

SHRI Council and Advisory Board Members

Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Member of Parliament

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen

  1. Good evening. I am happy to join you tonight for the Singapore HR Awards Presentation Gala. First, let me congratulate the recipients of the Singapore HR Awards 2017.
  2. The awards reflect your commitment and drive for excellence in human capital practices. It also highlights the strategic partnership between business leaders and HR professionals to prioritise HR and implement strong people practices that support workforce development and business growth.

HR is the key to unlock the potential of our people and businesses

  1. As our economy transforms, we need to see more of such forward-looking companies and future-ready HR professionals that help our people adapt and grow, and contribute to business success.
  2. Building a strong HR industry, comprising HR professionals and the HR services sector, will help us achieve this. In fact, our vision is a Singapore where HR is a key that effectively unlocks the potential of our people and businesses to adapt and transform.
  3. What does this mean for different workforce segments?
  4. For older workers, strong HR means age-friendly workplace practices that help them remain productive. As HR and business leaders, you would know that the re-employment age has been raised from 65 to 67 years with effect from 1 July 2017. As our workforce ages, companies that are better able to leverage the skills and experiences of our older workers will stand to gain.
  5. For workers with caregiving responsibilities, strong HR means inclusive workplace practices that help address their needs. Creating family-friendly workplaces helps expand the pool of talent available to companies, and contributes to a more engaged workforce. More employers are recognising the benefits, and are adopting flexible work arrangements such as flexi-time, flexi-place and flexi-load.
  6. Support is available for companies. They can receive funding support under WorkPro to enhance work-life harmony and implement age-friendly workplaces. 
  7. We will do more. MOM and our tripartite partners are jointly developing Tripartite Standards in areas such as Flexible Work Arrangements to make public adoption of progressive workplace practices more wide-spread. I urge employers to sign up for the Tripartite Standards when they are rolled out, and be recognised as an employer of choice.

HR Industry Manpower Plan to transform the HR industry

  1. So do we have a strong HR industry in Singapore today? It is generally in good shape. But tripartite partners agree that we haven’t reached a level that we can be fully satisfied.
  2. Hence, 2 years ago at SHRI’s 50th Anniversary Dinner, Minister for Manpower Mr Lim Swee Say announced that a Sectoral Tripartite Committee for HR would develop a HR Industry Manpower Plan (HRIMP). This Plan would set out the strategies for transforming the HR industry to achieve our vision.
  3. I am pleased to share that the HRIMP was launched just earlier this week. It comprises 3 key thrusts, namely:
    • Strengthen the HR profession
    • Enhance HR support for employers
    • Nurture a vibrant HR services sector and HR eco-system
  1. The HRIMP also underpins the efforts of the 23 Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) to promote growth and competitiveness in key sectors, and create good jobs for Singaporeans.
  2. You can find more details on the HRIMP in the HRIMP infographic in your HR Awards booklet, but I would just like to highlight a few key initiatives here.
  3. First, is the national HR certification regime administered by the Institute for HR Professional (IHRP). IHRP Certification is a key initiative to strengthen the HR profession. It provides a framework of the competencies, mindsets and behaviours that HR professionals need to deliver positive impact in their organisations and for their workforce.
  4. Registration for IHRP Certification is now open. I am happy to note that SHRI supports this initiative and will be urging your members to pursue the certification. They will benefit from the benchmarking of skills and developmental pathways that the IHRP Certification provides.
  5. Second, under the HRIMP, employers can look forward to greater support to improve their HR capabilities. Together with SPRING Singapore and our tripartite partners, we will be doing more to help employers, especially SMEs, acquire the know-how in managing and developing their employees.

SHRI’s support for HR transformation efforts

  1. Finally, I am also pleased to note that SHRI, as an important player in the HR eco-system, has continued to support the HR transformation efforts in Singapore.
  2. For example, SHRI and the Centre for Creative Leadership has jointly launched a research study on “CHRO 3.0: Preparing to Lead the Future HR Function in Asia.” The study recommends several mindset shifts that HR leaders need to make in order to prepare for the future.
  3. SHRI is also launching new Industry Focus Groups to bring together HR professionals to discuss and identify implementable solutions for the manpower challenges facing our companies today. Events such as this evening’s Singapore HR Awards also provide an opportunity for HR professionals and business leaders to network and learn from industry best practices.
  4. I look forward to SHRI’s continued efforts towards our national effort to build up the HR industry.


  1. Ladies and gentlemen, the move to transform the HR industry in Singapore must be seen in light of the economic and labour market realities of today, and in the future.
  2. These demand that we value our people and support their development. With an engaged and productive workforce, and inclusive workplaces, businesses would also be better positioned to transform and remain competitive.
  3. For aspiring and existing HR professionals – take advantage of the expanded opportunities under the HRIMP to deepen your skills, and reap the benefits as a future-ready HR professional.
  4. For business leaders and employers – take advantage of the added resources and support available under the HRIMP, and reap the benefits of an engaged and skilled workforce.
  5. For HR eco-system stakeholders – move quickly to offer quality HR solutions and programmes, and reap the benefits of new business opportunities.
  6. For employees – the HRIMP opens up new opportunities for you to adapt and grow in our new economy. Take advantage of them.
  7. I look forward to all of you joining us on this exciting journey. I wish you a pleasant evening ahead.
  8. Thank you.