THE Government is acting on the concerns of professional, managerial, executive and technical (PMET) employees who have been bearing the brunt of competition from foreigners in the workplace.
"I feel their frustration and stress," Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said at the People's Action Party lunchtime rally yesterday.
But he noted that efforts to moderate the inflow of foreign PMEs have also paid off. The annual increase of foreign professionals and foreign mid-level skilled staff has dropped by 70 per cent since measures were announced in Budget 2010.
Mr Lim also emphasised the Government's commitment to get companies to develop a strong "Singaporean core" of PMEs in the workforce.
Outlining what he called "very important immediate priorities", he said the Government was looking closely at where concentrations of foreign PMEs were found - by geographical location, company, industry and department.
Although these foreigners were making good contributions to the economy, he said, it was undesirable for them to be concentrated in certain locations, industries or even in specific departments within organisations.
He said the Government will continue to scrutinise companies that are "double weak" - those that do not have a strong core of Singaporean employees and do not do enough to nurture Singaporean PMEs.
Another priority is to speed up the transfer of knowledge and expertise from foreign PMEs to Singaporeans so that local workers will be able to drive the economy in the future. There needs to be more leadership development for Singaporean employees too, and this is where the SkillsFuture initiative can help to nurture promising Singaporeans to become future business leaders.
Get MyPaper for more stories.