EuroCham hosted second manpower minister Mrs. Josephine Teo in a closed-door roundtable discussion on Monday where European business leaders engaged in a frank conversation with the minister on key manpower issues.
A number of companies represented by various industries expressed concern and provided feedback on the recently announced foreign manpower policy changes, but most importantly discussed broader manpower issues such as tapping on talent from around the region, as well as training Singapore students to be equipped for the rapidly evolving economy.As waves of disruption affect numerous industries, member companies expressed strong support for the various government schemes to upskill the local workforce – labour assistance which does not take place so often elsewhere. Member companies also took the opportunity at the dialogue to encourage the manpower ministry to work with the education ministry in order to curate a curriculum that ensures graduates are well-equipped with valuable soft skills to be highly adaptable, and future-ready so that they will form a crucial component of the talent pool that can be tapped on in future.
Despite the good intentions of the manpower ministry, member companies acknowledged that many issues involve active collaboration and intervention by other government ministries and agencies as well. As a collaborative effort following the roundtable, EuroCham offered to produce an assessment of the impacts of the manpower policy adjustments on European firms in Singapore, and to continue the engagement with the manpower industry in the future.