Recognise that all jobs are valuable

For too long, the focus here has been on academic qualifications as a measure of a person's worth.

Hence, the civil service's decision to pay non-graduate teachers on the same scale as their graduate peers is a move in the right direction ("Closing the salary gap"; Aug 22).

It sends a signal that all jobs are valuable, and will help to make Singapore a more inclusive society.

Mr Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan was right in his observation that all jobs require specific skill sets, be they soft or hard skills ("Be careful not to marginalise university education"; last Wednesday).

We should give due recognition to blue-collar workers.

If anyone is in doubt about how indispensable these workers are, just imagine a day without them - with no means of transport, no cooked food, dirty surroundings and clogged pipes.

In many European countries, tradesmen earn as much as, if not more than, white-collar workers. They are also highly respected.

This results in a more egalitarian society.

The time is ripe to give credit to all the unsung heroes working tirelessly behind the scenes to keep Singapore humming.

Maria Loh Mun Foong (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2015, with the headline 'Recognise that all jobs are valuable'. Print Edition | Subscribe