Are schemes enough to help S'poreans with employment?

It was reported that the unemployment rate for Singaporeans is 3 per cent, and slips to 2.8 per cent when permanent residents are included (Job market improves with more openings amid fewer layoffs; June 14).

It seems that the unemployment rate among PRs is lower than among citizens.

Why is this so?

Efforts and schemes such as the Fair Consideration Framework, SkillsFuture training courses and job fairs have been introduced in recent years to help Singaporeans.

How effective are these in helping Singaporeans secure employment?

Ministry of Manpower statistics show that, as at December last year, there were 372,100 Employment Pass and S Pass holders.

There were also 30,700 holders of other work passes, which comprise Letters of Consent, Training Work Permits and Training Employment Passes.

One cannot help but notice the exponential rate of increase of other work pass holders - up from 9,300 in December 2012.

Singaporeans are continuously told of the need to upgrade and upskill for the future. Can't they take up the jobs covered under the other work passes?

What more must we do to help Singaporeans secure employment?

Tan Soon Hock

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2018, with the headline 'Are schemes enough to help S'poreans with employment?'. Print Edition | Subscribe