Multi-year roadmap targets migrant workers' welfare

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) recently presented a multi-year road map for a resilient migrant workforce in the country.

Raising the housing standards for migrant workers in 2022 will be the first in the priorities, with the authorities strengthening laws for all types of dormitories to meet the required minimum standards.

However, Manpower Minister Dr Tan See Leng noted, "I am not close to seeing how we can try to support these dorm operators to achieve the desired state... It will not be a one-step thing."

He cited that the bigger picture will be evident when Budget 2022 is discussed in Parliament.

He presented an operating model as support for workers before entering Singapore until their return to their home countries.

Aside from housing, MOM will also reinforce its efforts on improving recreation centres and community outreach as a form of care for the well-being of migrant workers. MOM is looking at outsourcing the services of counsellors from the migrant workers' home countries to ensure better cultural understanding.

"If you have someone from your home country or hometown, I think half the battle is won," he explained.

The Ministry has been working on migrant worker onboarding centres that were set up in March to integrate Covid-19 quarantine services, medical exams, and settlement for new workers. The sixth centre opened in Sengkang this month, upping the total beds at the centres to 12,000.

Dr Tan encouraged other stakeholders to support the Ministry, saying, "While the Government has spearheaded these efforts, a whole-of-society effort is needed to ensure the well-being of our migrant workers.”

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