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Singapore on right track to cut foreign labour dependency

But pace must be managed or local jobs may be affected: Tan Chuan-Jin

Published on Oct 1, 2012 10:16 AM
 
Efforts to wean Singapore off excessive use of foreign labour have borne fruit, according to Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin on Sunday. -- ST PHOTO: YEN MENG JIIN

Efforts to wean Singapore off excessive use of foreign labour have borne fruit, according to Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin on Sunday.

But, he cautioned in the blog post, the pace must be managed to avoid prompting firms to relocate which may cause retrenchment and higher unemployment among Singaporeans.

According to manpower statistics for the first half of this year, the number of Employment Pass (EP) holders dipped from 175,400 to 174,700 - the first half-yearly reduction since recession hit in 2009.

However, the number of work permit holders, excluding maids, rose by 20,600. Overall, the growth in foreign manpower, excluding maids, slowed to 34,100, a 7 per cent drop from the growth registered in the first half of last year.

 
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