Fair chance for local jobseekers: Govt to release details soon

SINGAPORE - Following study trips to several countries and extensive consultations here, the Government will release details of how it plans to make firms give fair consideration to Singaporean job-seekers soon.

"We are in the midst of finalising some of the possibilities and should be able to provide more details in the coming months," Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said in a written reply on Monday.

But he made clear the Ministry of Manpower's (MOM) planned framework is to ensure a level playing field and maintain meritocracy, and will not be a "magic bullet that ensures Singaporeans are hired first for every job".

He was responding to Nominated MP Mary Liew, Ms Foo Mee Har (West Coast GRC) and Mr Patrick Tay (Nee Soon GRC), who had filed questions on foreign labour policy and the need to ensure fair consideration by bosses.

During this year's Budget debate, Mr Tan had said his ministry was looking at measures to achieve the latter.

On Monday, he said the framework must strike a balance between ensuring a fair chance for Singaporeans and not being too onerous on employers.

MOM has visited countries such as the United States, Canada, Britain and Germany to speak with officials, firms and labour unions, he said.

Representatives from the Singapore National Employers Federation, National Trades Union Congress and the Singapore Business Federation tagged along.

A theme that emerged was that "an overly onerous system could lead to unnecessary bureaucracy that affects competitiveness", said Mr Tan.

MOM has also gathered views from the public and held focus groups with industry players and human resource practitioners, he added.


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