Incoming foreign workers to fill Singapore's labour gaps

SINGAPORE: As the government steadily opens its borders to greater numbers of foreign workers, several long-standing labour shortages across industries are expected to be filled “in a few months”.

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said the availability of manpower remains “a key concern for many businesses,” but priority will be given to bringing in workers in the construction, marine, and process sectors.

The minister noted that there was still high levels of public discomfort over job competition from foreigners, amid the economic turmoil brought on by the pandemic. Still, Singapore’s central government last week warned that the tightening domestic labour market could “lead to strengthened wage pressures over the course of the year.”

The government has tightened requirements for foreign workers who would like to live in Singapore. Wong said this was to “ensure that the workers coming in are of the right caliber” to help grow the economy.

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