The whole world comes as tourists to look for jobs?

Office workers walk through the central business district during lunch break.PHOTO: BLOOMBERGOffice workers walk through the central business district during lunch break.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

How did we decide “on the fine balance in deciding” how many Singaporean job seekers to leave behind?

I refer to the article “Adult education system has to evolve to ‘get tomorrow’s jobs for today’s Singaporeans’: Chan Chun Sing” (Straits Times, Aug 26).

It states that “Singapore has to keep evolving its adult education system, so that its people are one step ahead of others in this rapidly changing economy, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing on Saturday (Aug 26).

Speaking at a panel discussion at the inaugural Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Alumni Awardees Gala Reunion, he shared that workers should be equipped with the skill sets for tomorrow’s jobs, rather than just today’s jobs.

“There is no point for us to get yesterday’s jobs, or even today’s jobs, for today’s Singaporeans,” he added. “The question is whether we can get tomorrow’s jobs for today’s Singaporeans.””

Tourists come to compete for jobs?

Arguably, what’s the point of being “equipped with the skill sets for tomorrow’s jobs, rather than just today’s jobs”, when practically everyday – we may be the only developed country in the world that allows practically every Tom, Dick and Harry, to come as tourists to look for jobs, and stay when they find one?

“No Singaporean, young or old, is left behind”?

As to “During the discussion on the challenges and opportunities in the future economy, Mr Chan, who is also labour chief, touched on the fine balance in deciding what technology to adopt, so no Singaporean, young or old, is left behind” – how did we decide “on the fine balance in deciding” how many Singaporean job seekers to leave behind, when in the two years from 2015 to 2016 – it is estimated that almost none of the 11,400 jobs growth (37,300  foreigners’ jobs growth) to locals – actually went to Singapore born true-blue Singaporeans (61,005 new PRs and 42,917 new citizens granted in the same two-year period)?

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong
Leong Sze Hian has served as president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), invited to speak more than 200 times in over 30 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of Indonesia and Brunei. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.