Government to get policymaking ideas from citizens’ panel on improving employment resilience

SINGAPORE – As the pace of change in workplaces accelerate, the Government is gathering feedback on how better to help Singaporeans adapt and protect their careers.

Speaking on Saturday at a citizens’ panel discussion on employment resilience, Manpower Minister Tan See Leng said: “In an increasingly uncertain and volatile world, the risk of displacement and involuntary unemployment is very real.

“What we hope to achieve is to get people to start to take ownership and give them understanding and insights into how global and industry trends are evolving, and how they can continue to stay relevant.”

The panel on employment resilience was organised by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) and funded by The Ngee Ann Kongsi.

It will see about 66 participants comprising employees, employers, employment intermediaries and the unemployed meet over four sessions to offer recommendations on how to strengthen employment resilience.

The key topics on the agenda include how to encourage workers to take a more active role in managing their careers throughout their working lives. And how to design an unemployment support scheme that strikes a balance between ensuring adequate income support and encouraging active job search.

The proposals will be presented to the Government during the final session on March 25.

Dr Tan said he hopes that from the discussions, they could co-create policies together.

Drawing an analogy between health and employment resilience, he said one should not wait until he is at risk of unemployment before he starts thinking about career planning.

He cited how things could go south quickly, which was what happened when Covid-19 hit Singapore in 2020, with 42,000 unemployed residents from the onset of the pandemic.

On the panel’s importance, Dr Tan added: “Therefore, it is important for us to come together, to glean ideas from all of you, to sharpen our measures too.

“So that we can be a lot more precise, incisive, more surgical in some of the options that you have, for us to upskill, upgrade, consolidate and refresh our social compact.”

Dr Carol Soon, senior research fellow and head of the Society and Culture department at IPS, said the panel is happening amid new disruptions.

She said: “Unexpected crises such as the pandemic and the Ukraine war create unemployment shocks. Take technology, while it has a positive impact, it can lead to workers being displaced.

“Also, with more people working from home, the flip side is that the same job can be performed by anyone from any part of the world.”


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