New initiative to build talent launched in Singapore

SINGAPORE: Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong has launched the Forward Singapore exercise this month, with the aim of reaffirming the city-state’s fundamental values and the social covenant between government and people.

In particular, the nation-wide research will look at the changing dynamics of the labour markets in the post-pandemic business environment.

Wong says the country must remain open to investments and talent from around the world, noting that this creates wealth and keeps the economy innovative and vibrant. This leads to good jobs and better opportunities for Singaporeans.

But Wong also said that competition from foreign workers and professionals sometimes causes anxiety. "That's why we have not left Singaporeans to fend for themselves, or allowed outcomes to be decided by market forces alone,” he told the Forward Singapore launch this month. “Instead, we have invested heavily in skills upgrading and retraining — and will continue to do so — so that Singaporeans are better equipped to compete fairly for good jobs."

According to Wong, a new law will soon be passed to ensure that all employers uphold fair employment practices. "We will not hesitate to take action against any employer who discriminates on the basis of nationality -- or other factors, namely, age, sex, disability, race and religion. At the same time, we will continue to update our policies to manage the inflow of work pass holders, and ensure they come into sectors where we need them the most – to complement, not to displace, our local workforce."

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