Channel NewsAsia

MP Patrick Tay suggests three-pronged approach to supporting PMEs

Skills and competencies must be honed, but even more important is the need to change employer and employee mindsets, the MP says.

SINGAPORE: Professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) have to be given the support to equip and deepen their competencies for career development, said Mr Patrick Tay, Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC. 

Speaking in Parliament on Monday (May 26), Mr Tay suggested a three-pronged approach for employers to build the competencies of the Singaporean PME workforce.

First, PMEs must be prepared to make a mental shift, and spend time cultivating a second skill.

"I cannot emphasise more the need for attitudinal changes to focus less on paper qualifications and greater mapping and development of each individual’s abilities, skills and aptitudes according to the various industries and attainable levels they are in," he said.

Second, the system and training regime instituted by the government have to support the aspirations of these individuals.

To do this, Mr Tay suggested expanding the Workforce Skills Qualifications to include an even greater focus on PMEs, rather than just focusing on rank-and-file or mid-level technical staff.

He added that there should also be greater accessiblity to the lifelong learning fund by individual PMEs assisted or guided by a career coach from a Continuing Education and Training Centre.

Mr Tay also said the Government should promote second skilling and provide incentives for employers who allow their employees to to pursue a second skill during thier working hours.

Third, a paradigm shift is needed on the part of the employers. "Employers should understand that further increase in productivity with a tightened foreign manpower supply is only possible when their local employees are upgraded in their skills and abilities," he said.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia