Say-ing and Sing-ing the same things about the workforce…

Lim Swee Say.Chan Chun Sing

Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say and NTUC Secretary General Chan Chun Sing had almost concurrent events this afternoon and they both had similar messages.

This came hot on the heels of the Labour Market Report for the 1st Half of 2016 released by the Manpower Ministry yesterday (15 Sept 2016).

That the two touched on similar topics at concurrent events can only mean the concern the government has for the future of workers and jobs in Singapore in light of the slowing economy.

Lim swee Say

At the Adapt & Grow Career Fair, Minister Lim witnessed for himself the pilot Virtual Career Fair which offers an array of career activities virtually for local PMET job seekers who increasingly rely on digital platforms.

Chan Chun Sing

On the other hand, NTUC Secretary General Chan spoke at a NTUC HR Leaders Forum where he had a dialogue with HR professionals and leaders from across various industries.

The two leaders made 3 rather similar points at their respective events (we’re not too sure if it was planned or it’s something that both feel the same about… after all Minister Lim was formerly labour chief).

1. Jobs still available

In the Labour Market Report released yesterday, MOM said that the unemployed outnumbered the number of job openings.

To assure Singaporeans, Minister Lim said that although job vacancies declined, there are enough jobs available in totality.

Chan raised something similar by saying there are still jobs available, it was more an issue of job fit, i.e, Job matching

2. Transformation

Workers too need to take the initiative as Lim said that every individual worker needs to be adaptable in the current landscape.

Lim urged industries and workers to transform every existing job so that they become better jobs for workers.

Similarly, Chan said the Labour Movement is aiming to help working people to be future-ready through identifying new job opportunities and strengthening training and skills upgrading to help workers get into the new jobs.

3. Future ready

Workers too need to take the initiative as Lim said that every individual worker needs to be adaptable in the current landscape so that they can capture the opportunities of tomorrow.

At the NTUC HR Leaders forum, Chan also urged workers not to be complacent and think that their current skills sets will last forever as they never know when the jobs of today will be displaced tomorrow.


Naturally, Singaporean workers are worried. But surely if two ministers talk about the same things for the workforce and how to turn things around, it has to be for the good of workers?


Image Credits: Straits Times.

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Arthur Lee

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