You might have forgotten about it, but earlier this year, the government announced two new agencies to drive the SkillsFuture initiative and to ensure locals remain in employment through provision of employment facilitation and career services.
In today’s context, it is almost certain that Singaporeans, you and I, need all the help that we can get to stay employed.
It doesn’t help that the economy is slowing down, coupled with the rising numbers of retrenchments across the island. The challenges that lie ahead of us can be really daunting.
Hence, every ounce of help to get Singaporeans employed through the various employment assistance and up-skilling and retraining would be a step in the right direction.
You would be happy to note that two new Bills – the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (Amendment) Bill and the SkillsFuture Singapore Agency Bill – were passed in Parliament in the last few days to solidify the effort in getting Singaporeans ready for the challenges ahead.
This paves the way for two statutory boards to be formed by the end of this year. They are: the SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and the Workforce Singapore (WSG).
Here’s what our Members of Parliament (MPs) had to say about the passing of the Bills:
“If such Singaporeans could benefit from such training while serving their terms, that would make it better for the prospects for their rehabilitation and that will help them to integrate better into the economy,”
– Non-Constituency MP Leon Perera.
“It is not a Bill only to future-proof those who can study in the current, in the existing post-Secondary education institutions. It is for all Singaporeans…Everyone deserves to maximise their potential, whatever level that potential is deemed to be,”
– MP for Jalan Besar GRC, Denise Phua asking the agency to look into developing skills for people with special needs.
“Many people I spoke to during my worksite visits and house visits told me that they know about the S$500 SkillsFuture credit. However, there are challenges – like not knowing how to use it, not having the time to use it, or not being able to go for training courses due to work patterns like working shifts”
– MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, Melvin Yong.
“There is a need to prepare our young Singaporeans for jobs that do not exist yet today. But we should also focus on our current workforce… it is the work with the existing workforce that will result in substantive productivity gains,”
– MP for Tampines GRC, Desmond Choo.
“Singapore’s disenchanted workforce is perhaps the white elephant in the room. This is something any new agency with a mandate to help our employees must take a serious look at. To remain competitive, we need to ensure that our workforce is not one (which is) simply productive but also fulfils and serves their roles with enthusiasm and with collective achievement,”
– MP for Nee Soon GRC, Louis Ng.
“With the rapidly ageing workforce, I am particularly worried for those who are above 40 years of age as they take a much longer time to find employment and are more vulnerable to layoffs. I therefore submit that WSG should do more and do even better to help PMEs particularly those above 40 years to connect them to good jobs,”
– MP for West Coast GRC, Patrick Tay.