SINGAPORE: Singapore’s productivity is well below that of the most developed countries, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, he noted that restaurants here are experiencing difficulties finding employees.
Mr Tharman said some restaurants have raised pay to attract part—timers during the peak Lunar New Year season.
But most still have difficulty finding people, because the overall labour market is close to full employment.
Mr Tharman said these are real problems for businesses, but the solution is not to ease up on foreign worker policies.
He said the solution has to be more fundamental.
Using restaurants in the US, Europe, Japan, and Hong Kong as examples, he noted that they have fewer workers, but are still able to do well. The same employee handles more duties, and serves more tables.
Mr Tharman added the employees are well—paid, both full—time and part—time, know their stuff, including details of the dishes on the menu, and are well trained.
The restaurants also employ older workers, give them good jobs with some adjustments where required, and customers treat them with respect.
Mr Tharman said productivity then becomes key to upgrading incomes and standards of living — and transforming jobs is the only ’fundamental and sustainable’ solution.
Higher productivity will also mean price increments can be minimised — even if wages go up.
He said everyone has to play his or her part.
Employers have to transform the way businesses are run and share productivity gains with their employees through higher pay.
Employees need to pick up skills and keep learning on the job.
Mr Tharman said the government has to keep the foreign worker policy tight, but at the same time lend strong support to help this upgrading and upskilling in every sector.
And customers too have to play their part by treating workers in ordinary jobs with respect.
MORE SINGAPORE NEWS
Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn
After a teary goodbye at the Parc des Princes, David Beckham admits that his starring role in Paris Saint-Germain's French title party is th... More After a teary goodbye at the Parc des Princes, David Beckham admits that his starring role in Paris Saint-Germain's French title party is the last chapter of his colourful career. Duration: 01:27
Date 34 mins ago, Duration 1:27, Views 0