Home News NTUC's 46-page Budget recommendations: Never ask the most obvious question?

NTUC’s 46-page Budget recommendations: Never ask the most obvious question?

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By: Leong Sze Hian

NTUC calls for support to help workers transition into new economy

I refer to the article “Ahead of Budget 2017, NTUC calls for support to help workers transition into new economy” (Channel NewsAsia, Jan 17).

Govt should share Jobs Bank information

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It states that “suggests that the Government share Jobs Bank information with its Future Jobs, Skills and Training (FJST) capability and e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), so that both parties can better match workers to jobs. The Labour Movement said this would also help it identify the new skills which are required and put in place relevant training programmes.”

46-page report, but never ask the most obvious question?

So, a 46-page report on Budget recommendations mostly on how to help Singaporean workers – which did not ask what is arguably the most obvious and important question that many Singaporean workers have been asking – why not disclose the statistics on the National Jobs Bank as to what percentage of the jobs, and what type of jobs actually went to Singaporeans?

What jobs went to non-Singaporeans?

What’s the point of asking for more detailed information from the National Jobs Bank, so that the two labour movement institutions “can better match workers to jobs”, “identify the new skills which are required” and “put in place relevant training programmes” – when we don’t even know what are the jobs that have gone to Singaporeans and what jobs have gone to non-Singaporeans?

Forecasting manpower trends and training programmes for whom?

Instead of just “(urging) the Manpower Ministry, in particular, to provide data from the Jobs Bank on the types of skill requirements, salary bands and job descriptions employers are posting.

This will help with forecasting manpower trends and creating relevant training programmes” (“Labour movement makes recommendations for Budget 2017” (Straits Times, Jan 17) – we should be asking for Singaporean and non-Singaporean jobs placement data, so that we can accurately and really identify what are the education, skills and training and “job descriptions” that Singaporeans may be lacking – and resulting in the types of jobs (“salary bands”, etc) that get given to non-Singaporeans.

How do we logically “(be) forecasting manpower trends and creating relevant training programmes”, when we don’t even know the manpower trends and training needed by Singaporeans vis-a-vis non-Singaporeans?

As an analogy – if we know X number of Y jobs with Z skills and experience went to non-Singaporeans – then only can we effectively identify what training and skills that Singaporeans need in order to compete with non-Singaporeans.

National Jobs Bank puts Singaporeans first?

After all, isn’t the very purpose of establishing the National Jobs Bank to put Singaporeans first in jobs, in the first place?

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