Getting manpower-lean

Foreign worker quota cuts: Will they finally nudge services?

Results from previous moves to reduce the sector's dependence on foreign manpower have been sluggish. Insight looks at what might be in store with the latest efforts

Six years since the foreign manpower tap was last tightened in the service sector, businesses are being told they need to do more.

While some have heeded the call to become more productive, others have lagged behind, leading Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat to say in his Budget speech that growth in the number of foreign service staff may be on an "unsustainable path".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 24, 2019, with the headline 'Quota cuts: Will they finally nudge services?'. Subscribe