CEOs, labour leaders discuss working together with Government amid economic challenges

SINGAPORE - Fifty heads of companies from various industries met labour leaders at a discussion on Tuesday (Feb 2) to talk about working with the Government to equip workers for a changing job landscape, among other issues.

They were at the first Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) chief executive officer (CEO) roundtable discussion at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, part of SNEF's Beyond SG50 discussion series.

The closed-door session, titled Tripartism in the Future Economy, saw the 50 CEOs, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, NTUC secretary-general Chan Chun Sing and SNEF president Robert Yap discuss the need to have workers upgrade their skills through training as well as improve productivity.

They also discussed the need for employers to take care of low-wage workers.

Mr Chan said at the start of the discussion that growth in the local workforce was expected to peak by 2020.

This will lead to a decline in the overall workforce if the ratio of Singaporean workers to foreigners was maintained at 2:1, he said, stressing the need for the labour movement to work together with businesses and government agencies to prepare for that "eventuality".

This includes building and strengthening a "Singaporean Core".

In a post on his Facebook page later, Mr Chan said: "The Labour Movement will do all we can to promote the success of our enterprises. In turn, we hope our enterprises will do all they can to support our workers, give them hope and confidence for the future."

"The success of our enterprises and the well-being of our workers must be two sides of the same coin," he added.