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Restructuring must continue for "better workers, better jobs": Tan Chuan-Jin

Singapore must continue with its restructuring efforts to achieve its vision of making "better workers, better jobs", Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin said in his May Day message.

SINGAPORE: Singapore must continue with its restructuring efforts to achieve its vision of making "better workers, better jobs", Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin said in his May Day message.

He added that only then can Singapore achieve its vision of making "better workers, better jobs".

Mr Tan also stressed that the tripartite members -- government, employers and unions -- must work closely together as Singapore transforms its economy to create higher-value industries and quality jobs for Singaporeans.

The Singapore economy is expected to grow between two and four per cent this year. The labour market remains tight with close to full employment.

The acting manpower minister said the government is committed to help workers adapt to the new economic environment.

One key area is continuous learning and skills upgrading.

Mr Tan said the Continuing Education and Training system is undergoing a major review to support workers in these areas so they can seize the new job opportunities that restructuring brings.

Companies are also embarking on training which is more relevant now.

Kurt Wee, president of Association of Small & Medium Enterprises, said: "We are exploring modules that have subject matters like… Do Not Call registry, your personal data protection act, so that the workforce that comes through the training workshops are also more relevant, more industry relevant, towards their employers."

Companies will also get help to transform existing business models, so they can create better opportunities for workers.

Businesses are encouraged to innovate and strive for productivity improvements and in turn, raise the wages of workers.

Mr Tan acknowledged the process is not easy for employers.

He is heartened the unions have been engaging companies to tap different funding schemes, such as the Inclusive Growth Programme and Productivity and Innovation Credit.

Echoing the call, Singapore National Employers Federation President Stephen Lee said employers must invest in the training of workers to enable them to take on larger and higher job roles.

He urged employers to engage and empower workers to motivate them to give their best, and to cultivate a workplace culture that encourages innovation and continuous improvements in work processes.

The Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) has also been active in its mass adoption programme since last year.

Ang Li May, deputy CEO at e2i, said: "Companies in the same sector, they are able to share best practices with each other, they are also more likely to require similar type of equipment, and they will be better able to share with each other what the equipment that potentially work well for them are."

The Institute has been operating at the new Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability since August last year.

It has one-stop centres to help groups of low wage workers and professionals, managers and executives.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will deliver his May Day Rally speech at the Institute on Thursday.

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