Make better use of part-timers instead of hiring foreign labour
I AM glad that last Saturday's report ("Tackling Singapore's labour crunch") highlighted the availability of a pool of part-timers, housewives and retirees for employers to draw on.
For too long, many employers have taken the easy way out by turning to foreign workers for cheap labour.
May I also suggest students as a source of part-time workers.
I am sure this pool of local workers will be willing to work, given the opportunity. All that is needed is for employers to provide reasonable incentives in terms of salary and flexible working arrangements.
Currently, salaries in the retail and service sector are too low and working hours rather long.
In Japan, which faces the same problem of an ageing workforce, an army of part-timers, students and retirees fill the gap left by a declining workforce. But unlike in Singapore, productivity is high as these workers are well trained and morale is high.
Chan Teck Guan