SINGAPORE - Attracting people into the public service today is harder than it was decades ago, as Singaporeans are increasingly drawn to opportunities abroad, and to global companies and organisations, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said on Tuesday.
But the public service continues to need committed and talented people, and scholarships are an important way to draw them in, he added.
Mr Teo, who is in charge of the civil service, was addressing 82 recipients of this year's Public Service Commission (PSC) scholarships at an award ceremony at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.
The recipients included two who received the PSC masters scholarship.
The scholarship holders were selected from a pool of more than 2,500 applicants.
Most are going to universities in the United States and Britain, while 16 are staying in Singapore to further their studies.
"With the growth of our economy, there are many more attractive opportunities for able Singaporeans. Globalisation and the ease of travel have also opened up more possibilities for Singaporeans overseas," Mr Teo said.
"With a solid education foundation in Singapore, and a good work ethic, Singaporeans do well, and are sought after by global companies and organisations," he said.
To match the aspirations of Singaporeans, he said, the public service has adapted its "career proposition" by providing challenging work, good opportunities for development, and market-competitive salaries.
"There is a lot more interesting and important work that remains to be done," he said, citing examples such as creating jobs of the future and meeting an aging population's needs.
The new generation of public officers will also face emerging challenges such as engaging a more educated and diverse population and providing space for different views to co-exist, he added.
At the event, PSC chairman Eddie Teo said that the scholarship holders come from a variety of schools and backgrounds.
This year's recipients came from 13 schools, including five from Anglo-Chinese Junior College, Jurong Junior College and Nanyang Junior College, six from schools such as NUS High School of Mathematics and Science and School of The Arts, and two from Temasek Polytechnic (TP).