Singapore job growth could moderate to between 1.5% and 2%: Tan Chuan-Jin
Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin says job growth in Singapore could moderate to between 1.5 and two per cent.
With a slowing economy, he calls on firms to seize opportunities to embrace productivity measures even as the government tightens foreign manpower flows.
Mr Tan says a mindset change on the part of businesses is needed so the economy can be restructured.
The building of the Cube 8 condominium along Thomson Road is done with a productivity-centric focus.
Dry walls are used instead of brick-layered ones, meaning construction is done two times faster.
Much work is completed through prefabrication, where building parts are assembled in factories off-site.
And this means the project can be completed a year earlier than if traditional construction methods were used, says Thierry Brezac, Projects Director for the development.
" We have done a calculation in terms of manpower saving and we estimate that for this particular project, with implementation of all these features, we can save about 30 per cent of the manpower."
With less reliance on foreign manpower, the project shows how a firm can re-design its processes to improve productivity."
And the government hopes other businesses will follow suit.
The Acting Manpower Minister says Singapore is in a good position for economic restructuring, being in a region of growth, despite the slowdown elsewhere.
Mr Tan Chuan-Jin says firms cannot rely on free-flowing access to foreign workers as before, since the government does not intend to return to the days when this was possible.
And while the authorities cannot mandate productivity-driven measures, they can try to shape the environment with incentives to encourage the adoption of such measures.
"People are looking at expanding their businesses, so that allows us to actually, perhaps transform the economy in a much more productive way - going up the value chain and yet I think, trying to maintain employment numbers where it is, so that Singaporeans continue to have good jobs. You will have transitions, so as companies restructure, there will be more redundancies."
And the government will help in the transition process with skills upgrading and job matching initiatives, so workers can flow from a less to a more productive sector.
-By Dylan Loh
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