Sense of entitlement of workers will make Singapore less competitive: Tan Chuan-Jin

Sense of entitlement of workers will make Singapore less competitive: Tan Chuan-Jin

Some local workers reject jobs which require shift work, while others complain about fierce job competition and low pay, Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said in a blog post on Tuesday.


Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Here are some exerpts from Mr Tan's blog post:

"On my way back from the G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting in Melbourne late last week, I read Lydia Lim's editorial, "Success is tied to workers' skills and autonomy" (10 September 2014). She highlighted the points raised by labour economist and NMP, Prof Randolph Tan, who said that Singaporeans tended to falsely believe that we are immune to widespread joblessness."

"I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to understand the point which Prof Randolph raised. Perhaps we are complacent about unemployment, because of our enviable position of having three per cent unemployment, which is among the lowest globally. Youth unemployment is also low, and most of our university, polytechnic and ITE graduates find a job within six months.

"Just recently, I met the owner of a foreign IT set up at a dialogue session. Although his company had been operating in Singapore for a while, he shared that he was thinking of shifting operations to Vietnam as there were qualified people there to do what he needed. I asked if it was because of a lack of talent here. It wasn't. Was the salary he was offering too low? That didn't seem to be the case either, as some of the starting jobs were at a fairly attractive $4,000 to $5,000. The crux of the problem was the fact that the job required shift work, as they supported operations round the clock. Many Singaporeans, on hearing that, were not interested.

"Just this Monday evening, I met a gentleman who brought his father-in-law to see me at the Meet-the-People session about some problem he had. As it turned out, he was a head hunter. I asked him on his take on the employment scene. He stated quite clearly that it is not for want of jobs. Demands and expectations were high and sometimes excessively so. He was somewhat concerned about the impact on competitiveness and recognised that it was not a given that jobs are always going to be available." 

Mr Tan' Chuan-Jin's full post here.

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