Forum: To boost efficiency, be more open to skilled foreign workers

Office workers in Singapore's financial district on Feb 14, 2018.
Office workers in Singapore's financial district on Feb 14, 2018.PHOTO: ST FILE

The issue of improving efficiency in Singapore needs adequate solutions (What happened to Singapore's efficiency?, Voices of Youth, June 24), and one answer is to open doors to skilled foreign workers.

There is antagonism towards skilled foreign workers in Singapore. To increase productivity, the workforce needs to either achieve higher standards of capabilities or open up to take in young foreign labour.

But government policy alone is not enough - a paradigm shift is necessary to accept foreigners who can contribute to the economy and Singaporeans' well-being.

The decision to welcome foreigners to join the workforce helps advanced economies that have seen their gross domestic product growth weakened because of a shrinking labour force brought on by declining fertility rates and rising life expectancy.

The standard of living in Singapore can be similarly improved - an immediate solution to the struggle with efficiency in train and hospital services.

By opening our minds to accept skilled foreign labour, Singapore can remain competitive and relevant in this fast-paced environment.

Anna Carolina Mihory Hirata

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2019, with the headline 'To boost efficiency, be more open to skilled foreign workers'. Print Edition | Subscribe