No U-Turn on the tight lid on foreign worker numbers in Singapore

COMPANIES looking for relief from the tight foreign worker policy, now that a new minister is in charge, will be disappointed.

There will be no U-turn on the tight lid on foreign worker numbers in Singapore, said newly minted Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say.

But he did promise to review some of the other manpower policies in place, such as the national jobs bank, because policies are “never static”, he added.

Speaking to the media for the first time since he moved from the labour unions to be Manpower Minister, Mr Lim set out four broad areas in his new role.

These are: to boost competitiveness, keep the workforce lean, nurture a core group of Singaporean workers, and use the foreign workforce as a complement to the local workforce.

These strategies will help businesses to grow and workers to pursue their careers, while achieving “quality growth” for Singapore, he said.

Mr Lim, who turns 62 in July next year, stepped down as National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) secretary-general last month as part of a self-imposed leadership renewal plan, where union leaders voluntarily retire at age 62 to make way for new blood.

He had spent 13 years at NTUC, with eight years at the helm.

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Source: Straits Times