Singaporean core must pervade all levels of an organisation

In the banking and finance industry here, foreign banks consolidating, repositioning and downsizing their businesses have resulted in retrenchments and cuts to headcounts.

The perception of a lack of fair opportunities for Singaporeans to assume larger roles within organisations has led to growing resentment and a divide between the foreign and local workforce.

The additional criteria in granting Employment Passes (EP) is a move in the right direction ("Stricter rules for Employment Pass approval"; last Saturday).

However, it is not enough to use the number of Singaporeans vis-a-vis the number of EP holders as a measurement of an organisation's commitment to create a Singaporean core in its workforce.

For there to be a truly Singaporean core, it is imperative that Singaporeans and foreign workers are fairly distributed across all levels of an organisation's hierarchy and across all job functions.

In addition, organisations must demonstrate their commitment and desire to groom Singaporeans, with the objective of having them assume larger roles within the organisation.

Ultimately, the best talent, whether local or foreign, must prevail, but opportunities must be made available to all.

Cheng Yew Hui

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 16, 2016, with the headline 'Singaporean core must pervade all levels of an organisation'. Print Edition | Subscribe