PMO, 3 ministries aim to ensure that everyone benefits from S'pore's renewed economy

Singapore - Keeping Singaporeans at the core of the renewed economy - this was the message emphasised in the Prime Minister's Office's (PMO) and three ministries' addenda to the President's Address delivered last Friday.

This is especially as Singapore's growth slows and its demographic composition shifts - making it imperative to maintain the nation as a place "where dreams are built and aspirations can be fulfilled", said the government.

To this end, the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the PMO outlined their plans for the new term of government in their respective addenda released on Tuesday evening.

All four emphasised the need to develop strategies to ensure that every Singaporean benefits from the country's economic progress. Part of this task entails making a continued investment in education at all levels - not just pre-school and post-school, but also through each citizen's life.

MOM, for its part, will create more diverse and inclusive pathways to allow growth and career progression for those with different strengths.

It said: "MOM will help companies become more manpower-lean, and strengthen their Singaporean core in all major sectors of the economy. We will support employers to re-design jobs, processes and workplaces to fully tap the experience and contributions of all workers, especially our mature workers."

Meanwhile, MOE said that it would continue its efforts to alleviate the excessive focus on academic results.

"(This is) so that learning is more enjoyable, examinations are not overly perceived to be high-stakes endeavours and students have more time and space to pursue a broader range of interests, sustain their curiosity, cultivate an innovative spirit and pursue a well-rounded education," said the ministry's addendum.

Since good jobs for Singaporeans can come only if sustainable economic growth is achieved, MTI reiterated its commitment to develop growth clusters where Singapore has competitive advantages.

These clusters are advanced manufacturing, smart and sustainable urban solutions, logistics & aerospace, and the biomedical sciences.

"To sustain these growth clusters, industrial and energy infrastructure will be enhanced, along with Singapore's status as a vibrant global city. This will ensure that Singapore remains attractive to investors, companies, talent and visitors," said MTI.

More ministries will release their respective addenda throughout the week.

Parliament will sit again on Monday, when the House will debate the President's Address for five days.

This article was first published on January 20, 2016.
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