Network based systems

Forum: Rich talent network in Singapore will benefit Singaporeans

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We refer to the letters “The transfer of knowledge and skills from global talent is easier said than done” by Mr. Harry Ong Heng Poh and “Measurable objectives must be set and monitored for One Pass” by Ms. Lynne Tan (both October 5).

As Mr. Ong wrote, Singaporeans generally agree that Singapore needs complementary talent to help our economy grow.

But the direct transfer of knowledge and skills from global talent to our local workforce is just one of the ways residents benefit from an open and connected economy. The presence of global talent here will attract global companies to set up shop in Singapore and expand their business. This will create more good jobs for Singaporeans.

As Manpower Minister Tan See Leng observed in parliament on October 3, the data bears this out. Over the past five years, more residents were working in more skilled PMET jobs (from 55% in 2016 to 62% in 2021). In addition, local workers have experienced sustained wage growth across the board.

The real median income of full-time employed residents increased by 2.1% per year. The new complementarity assessment framework for job pass candidates will enable employers to select high-quality candidates while encouraging employers to build a strong core in Singapore through a points-based system .

Working in global companies and alongside global talent gives local workers exposure to new ideas and best practices. This is essential to developing our local leadership strength.

Companies should provide development opportunities for local talent, and local workers should take on challenging assignments, especially regional and global positions.

The government will continue to help our businesses and our workers to do so.

The Singapore Business Federation has formed an Alliance for Action on Business Leadership Development to bring together businesses and local leaders to nurture promising Singaporeans.

We assure Ms. Tan that Overseas Networks and Expertise (One) Pass holders should contribute to our economy. A pass may be canceled if there are long periods of economic inactivity without a valid reason.

At the same time, we must recognize that beyond the tangible contributions of each pass holder, Singapore also benefits from having a rich network of talent embedded here. This will in turn attract more businesses and higher value-added activities and open up even more opportunities for Singaporeans.

Kenny Tan

Division Director, Workforce Policy and Planning Division

Ministry of Manpower

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