Ong Ye Kung
said the country’s economic growth will not be achieved by manpower-led initiatives but rather through productivity and innovation.
Speaking at a roundtable organised by the the Singapore University of Technology and Design’s (SUTD) Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities, he said that the “country faces challenging demographic trends, is bound by its small size and cannot pump up growth by increasing the size of its labour force.”
“We are on an irreversible journey to pursue growth based on productivity and innovation,” he said.
Ong, who co-chairs the CFE’s sub-committee on future jobs and skills, said that the release of the CFE report will require “deeper changes” as they look at how the country can “do more with less”.
He gave two broad responses on how companies can grow based on this philosophy:
1) Employers should deepen the skills base of workers and veer away from selecting candidates purely from academic grades but move towards skills mastery;
2) Singaporean companies should be encouraged to tap and enter regional and global markets.
"Enterprise is in our blood and DNA. We will have to build upon it further - to make our system more capable, more productive, and more enterprising,” he said.
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Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills)