MP Pritam Singh

Mr Pritam Singh asked the Minister for Manpower (a) whether the Ministry is looking into new strategies to encourage younger Singaporeans to take up trade jobs such as licensed electricians and plumbers, amongst others; and (b) whether it is the Ministry’s assessment that a larger Singapore core can be built up in such jobs in the short to medium term.

The Minister for Manpower (Dr Tan See Leng): Mr Speaker, the approach that we take is to prepare our workforce for jobs in demand as our economy transforms. It would not be realistic to aim to grow the Singapore core in every single occupation, as all of you are aware, our local workforce is finite with the ageing cohorts larger than the cohorts that are entering the workforce.

 Through the Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs), sector agencies have worked with industry to map out growth plans for 23 sectors across the entire economy. Sector agencies have also put in place strategies to build up the local talent pipeline for in-demand jobs. To complement these ITMs, MOM launched Jobs Transformation Maps (JTMs) in 2021. These provide detailed job-level insights on the impact of technology on the industry as well as the workforce. With these insights, we are then able to provide a wide range of programmes to help mid-career workers to transition into new jobs and at-risk workers to be reskilled and redeployed into new roles.

 Overall, our resident workforce has seen good employment outcomes. As our economy expanded, we have seen a shift towards higher value-added activities and the growth of modern services such as in Financial and Insurance Services, and Professional Services. Correspondingly, the profile of jobs in the economy has also shifted. From 2011 to 2021, the proportion of resident workers in Professional, Managerial, Executive and Technician (PMET) jobs rose from 52.7% to 62.1%. Non-PMET jobs, which would include some of the trade jobs that the Member talked about, declined in share. Young resident workers have also done well. The employment rate for residents aged 25 to 29 years old remained high at 85% in 2021. Unemployment rate for them have remained low at 4.7% in 2021. A higher proportion of resident workers aged 25 to 29 are in PMET jobs – 75.5% in 2021 compared to 67% in 2011. The real median income of full-time employed residents have also grown by 1.5% per annum from 2011 to 2021.

 The Government will continue to work closely with industry and tripartite partners to create a wide range of job opportunities and prepare our workers for jobs that are in demand.

Ministry of Manpower
4 April 2022


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