In his Budget 2021 speech on February 16, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat noted that some Singaporeans are concerned about Singapore’s reliance on, and competition from, foreign manpower.
At the same time, he said that business have found it difficult to hire locals. Many have asked the Government not to tighten the foreign worker quotas further.
Hence, Singapore has to strike a balance and “focus on enhancing the complementarity of local and foreign manpower.”
Foreign Talent As A Complement To Locals
The government will further help to support wage increments for companies to retain or draw locals by extending the Wage Credit Scheme for a year, at a co-funding level of 15 per cent.
Firms were urged to make use of other schemes to redesign jobs and upskill their local staff.
However, the government will welcome expatriates in the “right expertise to complement Singaporeans” in new growth areas.
Hence, Capability Transfer Programme (CTP) will be extended to end-September 2024.
The CTP is one of many programmes that supports such foreign-to-local skills transfer. As of end-2020, more than 140 companies, and over 970 locals have benefited or are expected to benefit from 40 projects.
“This will allow us to add vibrancy to the local market, better serve international and regional markets, and enhance Singapore’s attractiveness to global investors,” Mr Heng said.
Featured Image Credit: The Independent Singapore