Thursday, February 25, 2016

SINGAPORE:::Give industries incentives to build strong S’porean core: NTUC

 The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) has called for the Government to incentivise industries to build a strong Singaporean core and review the Employment Pass criteria in view of the varying manpower needs of different sectors, among its slew of Budget 2016 recommendations submitted today (Feb 25) to the Ministry of Finance.

Adding that companies “which have shown commitment towards building a Singaporean core should be differentiated from those who have not”, the labour movement said in a press release: “This is to ensure our workers have fair opportunities at their workplaces. At the same time, the Government should tighten enforcement on companies that show no intent to develop a Singaporean core of workers.” It added that it supports the Ministry of Manpower’s intent to keep the overall ratio of Singaporeans to foreign workers at 2:1, despite many industries requesting for the Government to increase their foreign worker quota due to a manpower crunch.
The recommendations cover the areas of strengthening the Singaporean Core, improving productivity, enhancing training and skills upgrading, and improving retirement adequacy.
Among other things, NTUC proposed that the Government consider making it compulsory for employers to pay low wage workers annual increments and wage supplement. It added: “We also strongly urge the Government to continue to keep a focus on low wage workers so as to channel them to better jobs which provide better pay.”
The Government could also study moving away from the current structure of a single retirement age – set at 62 years old – to a more variegated one, in order to “meet the diversity in capabilities of workers and industry”. It noted that that there are already workers on the exemption notification list to the Retirement and Re-employment Act, and agreements that allow workers to work beyond 62 years of age.
It also urged the Government to support younger workers, especially professionals, managers, executives and technical workers, such as by setting up an integrated career counselling system to prepare students for the workplace. In terms of improving productivity, it said the Government should look at the productivity of foreign manpower here so “only the most skillful and productive workers are retained or allowed in”. Committees driving their Sectoral Manpower Plans should also set productivity benchmarks, NTUC said
Give industries incentives to build strong S’porean core: NTUC

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