Updated: 04/14/2014 23:42

Measures in place to protect local PMEs

Measures in place to protect local PMEs

The Government will continue to help all Singaporeans including Professionals, Managers and Executives or PMEs be job ready through the education system, and Continuing Education and Training and employment facilitation programmes. 

The assurance was given by Second Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran to parliament in response to a question by Non-Constituency MP Yee Jenn Jong. 

Mr Yee had asked about safeguards in place to protect PMEs in light of the ASEAN Economic Community's goal to free up the movement of professionals. 

Mr Iswaran says under the ASEAN Agreement on the Movement of Natural Persons, Singapore has committed to allow the entry of intra-corporate transferees at the level of managers, executives and specialists. 

This means that only such employees of firms that provide services within Singapore through a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate established in Singapore and who have worked in their firms outside Singapore for at least one year can qualify. 

Entry for these intra-corporate transferees is limited to a two year period that may be extended for up to three additional years each time for a total term not exceeding eight years. 

Given Singapore's low unemployment rate, Mr Iswaran says allowing selected skilled labour from ASEAN to work temporarily here enables us to fill skill gaps without compromising the job opportunities of local PMEs. 

He says measures are in place to foster a level playing field for PMEs in the workplace such as the Fair Consideration Framework which will take effect in August. 

It seeks to send a signal to employers on the importance of considering Singaporeans fairly for job opportunities. 

At the same time, the ASEAN agreement also facilitates Singaporean PMEs to work in ASEAN countries, and gain regional experience. 

This enables Singapore to tap the growing opportunities around us. 

He says Regional experience is also a critical factor for Singaporean PMEs striving to advance within multi-national corporations.

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