Quote of the day: Tan See Leng on the Govt’s singular objective of strengthening the local workforce


In his response to Member of Parliament Mr Yip Hon Weng’s question on how the Government can give assurance to local workers, especially the broad middle segment, that they can benefit from the Overseas Networks and Expertise (One) Pass, Manpower Minister Tan See Leng gave impassioned reply.

We reproduce the manpower minister’s reply in full.

“Today, as I’ve said, and they’re not motherhood statements, the core of what we do, whether it is COMPASS, whether it is the ONE pass, whether it is the raising of the minimum qualifying salaries, the local qualifying salary at the work pass levels,

everything we do is focused on that singular objective of how we can continue to provide opportunities, good pay, good career progression for our Singapore local core.

So to that end, we should not focus on just this ONE Pass. The ONE pass is about creating new cheese, new opportunities, new economic opportunities, new diaspora of different sectors for it to then spill over to our SMEs, our other local enterprises so that we can continue to provide that opportunity for our local Singaporeans.

Simultaneously, in fact, contemporaneously, we have a whole slew of schemes today that we constantly groom and provide that opportunity for our Singaporeans to make sure that they keep abreast, and in some instances, we try to even nudge them to go ahead, think out of the box, so that they can compete. We have the under MAS the iPost (International Postings) Programme, which is running very well… I’ve early on also shared that we have this Global Ready Talent programme. In March this year during the Budget COS, I also announced the Singapore Global Executive Programme. We have got the Skills Leadership Development Initiative. So these are five very big initiatives aimed at exposing Singaporeans to leadership positions, to thought processes, thought leaders all over the world where we invite because the size of our markets in Singapore alone cannot give our fellow Singaporeans that necessary runway, that necessary depth to acquire the deep expertise and experience that’s required. So we constantly do that and if there are more programmes that members of this House do have, feel free to suggest it to us and we are prepared to consider that as well.

So I want to reassure all members of the House that this is the core of what we do.

It is for our Singaporeans, our fellow Singaporeans, for our future, because 50 years down – I think many of you will still be around – you want to continue to see Singapore to still be brimming with opportunities, optimism and hope.

I am certain I won’t be around but I’m sure many of you will still be around so I hope that gives you the reassurance. Thank you.”