PM Lee calls for skills training for locals

by HRD24 Jan 2017
In a recent forum organised by the EDB Society and The Straits Times, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said companies and the government should offer more skills training programmes for local residents.

He said the perceived threat of unemployment is not because there is lack of available jobs but because of skills mismatch.

“’My growth rate is constrained by how many people I have, and if I have more workers, more students coming out who are well-trained, well-educated, I can grow faster.’ That is the constraint rather than ‘I have so many people coming out, where are the jobs to be found,’” he said.

The number of foreign workers in the country is still substantial as companies continue to bring them in because there are not enough skilled local candidates, he added.

“But if we can produce Singaporeans with skills, jobs will be there and we will be able to employ them,” he emphasised.

One initiative companies can take advantage of in terms of reskilling and upskilling their employees is Workforce Singapore’s Professional Conversion Programme where they can receive 70 to 90% wage support and other training subsidies.

"We want to minimise this mismatch. This means making every job a better job and every career a better career and, hopefully, every worker will enjoy better pay,” said Minister of Manpower Lim Swee Say of the programme.

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