Fortitude Budget

Tharman to chair new National Jobs Council

The jobs council, to be helmed by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, will focus on creating jobs and building deep skills.
The jobs council, to be helmed by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, will focus on creating jobs and building deep skills.

Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will chair a new council to oversee efforts to help Singaporeans master skills needed to stay employable in a challenging economy.

Announcing his appointment in his supplementary budget speech, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said Mr Tharman, who is Coordinating Minister for Social Policies and was formerly finance minister and education minister, has "both detailed knowledge and deep expertise in this issue".

"I have requested him to chair a National Jobs Council to oversee this very important work, and I thank him for agreeing," he told Parliament yesterday.

Mr Tharman led SkillsFuture when it was started in 2014 to develop a system of education, training and career progression, and foster a culture of lifelong learning.

He also chaired the tripartite Council for Skills, Innovation and Productivity to help sectors keep pace with structural changes in the economy.

It was renamed the Future Economy Council in 2017, which was given an expanded mandate.

Mr Heng said the National Jobs Council will focus on creating jobs and building deep skills.

"This important effort will be integrated with the work of the Future Economy Council on the overall upgrading of our economy, through the Industry Transformation Maps in each cluster," he added.

"In this way, we can marshal all our experiences and expertise to manage the huge changes that are coming our way."

The National Jobs Council will provide details at a later date.

Olivia Ho

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 27, 2020, with the headline Tharman to chair new National Jobs Council. Subscribe