CXO Breakfast Talk with Minister Lim Swee Say

“Manpower Strategy for Industry Transformation and Growth”

Photo Source: Ministry of Manpower

The tech industry offers tremendous opportunities for Singapore’s economy with the manpower strategy and support for growth and development made available. This message was delivered by Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower at SGTech’s CXO Breakfast Talk event held on 27 March 2018. The minister’s address was followed by an engaging and productive panel discussion including, Tan Kiat How, CE of IMDA, Saw Ken Wye, Chairman of SGTech, and Andy Sim, 2nd Vice Chair of SGTech as moderator.

  Photo Source: Ministry of Manpower

Photo Source: Ministry of Manpower                                                                                              

Attended by over 160 industry leaders and senior managers from the tech industry, Mr. Lim outlined an optimistic view of Singapore’s economic transformation, driven by the nation’s workforce and supported by the Ministry of Manpower’s Adapt and Grow programme. The talent shortage in the tech industry is a global challenge, and Singapore’s approach to mitigating the issue is multi-faceted. Addressing manpower concerns, the Minister drew attention to the key initiatives and valuable resources available for companies seeking solutions to the talent crunch.

L-R: Andy Sim, Minister Lim Swee Say, Tan Kiat How, Saw Ken Wye 

People are the Focus – Stronger Together

Minister Lim emphasised the importance of striking a balance between being pro-business and pro-worker, and strengthening Singapore’s talent pool. The Minister spoke candidly to the audience about the objective, calling for the industry leaders to view foreign specialists as a complementary resource to enhance and grow local capabilities and capacities.

The Minister mentioned that foreign workforce policy focuses on three areas:
1.       Moderate Growth – Singapore’s economy needs to avoid becoming overly reliant on foreign manpower and instead focus on restructuring and productivity-driven growth.
2.       Enhance Quality – Singapore must continue to raise the quality and complementarity of the foreign workforce, including through the transfer of global capabilities to the local workforce.
3.       Provide Flexibility – Singapore continues to be open to foreign professionals with skills-in- demand needed for industry transformation, while developing the local pipeline of talent in the longer term. Economic agencies can exercise flexibility for firms that are unable to meet the requirements on a selective basis

Capability Transfer Programme

Details of the Ministry’s Capability Transfer Programme (CTP), were provided by Mr. Lim. The programme facilitates work passes to bring in foreign experts in areas where hot skills are in short supply locally, such as AI, cybersecurity, data analytics and IoT. The Minister emphasized the importance of knowledge transfer to the local workforce under this scheme.

The talk concluded on a positive and productive tone, with industry leaders voicing their concerns in an engaging Q&A session with the Minister, who provided feedback, guidance and reassurance.

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Published April 2018