When businesses think there is a shortage of good employees, it is high time to consider if the issue could be that there’s a shortage of good employers. While the government thinks about building up good manpower and talents for the companies they want to attract; they also need to consider the quality of employers and jobs created in Singapore. One of the reasons for Singapore’s success is the constant fine-tuning of this.
Our government agencies through design and by policy have a deep understanding of the two-sided nature of the labour market. And there’s recognition that in order for there to be employment, have to balance the demand and supply for labour delicately. This means that having some kind of liberal immigration regime is important, so that gaps in our domestic workforce can be closed.
Nevertheless, over periods of very serious dislocations of the skills demanded and supplied by our domestic workforce, there can be problems of foreign labour being demanded more than domestic labour; and with a huge pool of companies based here but unable to find suitable staff. Restructuring the economy is painful business and it is hard to tell whether the situation is temporary or permanent. Being able to continue dreaming about what is the future economy and suite of jobs made available in the economy for Singaporeans is important.