Budget 2018 to address employee skills gap

by Nurhuda Syed19 Feb 2018

Economists are predicting that the Singapore government will offer employers more tools and resources to enhance labour productivity as part of the Budget 2018.

“I see this year’s Budget continuing its focus to transform the economy in areas of capabilities building, innovation and internationalisation, as well as go deep and granular in addressing skills gap and skills mismatches,” said Liang Eng Hwa, chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Finance and Trade.

“There is the real possibility that disruptive changes to employment may outpace the speed in which workers can reskill themselves. Hence, as we restructure the economy to create new jobs, we need to double efforts and intensity to develop new skill sets among our workers,” Liang told Channel NewsAsia.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said on Sunday that this year’s Budget aims to help companies further improve their technology and workforce for the digital economy, reported The Straits Times.

There should also be continued efforts to boost overall labour productivity, said UOB economist Francis Tan.

While overall labour productivity in 2017 surged to a seven-year-high of 4.5%, the improvement was powered mainly by externally-oriented sectors.

The domestically-oriented sectors, however, experienced slower labour productivity growth.


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