MOM encourages firms to employ foreign workers

by Miklos Bolza18 Jan 2016
Nine trade associations, chambers and industry partners have been allowed to promote the Lean Enterprise Development (LED) scheme – a program designed to bring in more foreign workers on a short-term basis as a way of boosting productivity.
 
The scheme allows employers to bring in skilled labour from overseas for up to two years to improve operations in areas such as automation and computerisation.
 
This move was made on Saturday (16 January) at a forum organised by the Singapore National Employers Federation in partnership with the Singapore Workforce Development Agency.
 
Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for Manpower, spoke at the forum. He urged firms to undertake urgent transformation especially since workforce growth is expected to decrease to about one per cent per year by 2020.
 
The trade associations will promote the LED scheme and assist employers in developing proposals for LED projects, Teo told reporters at the event.
 
He added that hiring additional foreign labour for a short-term, fixed period of time may be required when Singaporeans lack the necessary skills to help their firm transform.
 
During the two year period, foreign workers can assist with corporate restructuring and train local staff to then maintain operations once the two years are over.
 
The LED scheme commenced last October. Eligible employers will be committed to:
  • Becoming manpower lean
  • Building a Singaporean core
  • Developing higher quality workers
Priority will be given to projects which have the potential to be scaled up and transform the industry as a whole.
 
By employing a smaller but higher quality foreign workforce, MOM hopes the scheme will transform existing businesses by cutting down on wasted labour, reducing the reliance on foreign workers, introducing breakthrough ideas and transferring advanced skills and knowledge to local employees.
 
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