HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

OCBC predicts no hike in Foreign Worker Levy for Budget 2017 announcement

There will be about 25,000-40,000 jobs in the next 3-5 years.

OCBC Bank has released its pre-Budget 2017 insights. It said that for the labour market, Singapore is expected to create about 25,000-40,000 jobs over the next three to five years, according to the Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say. Still, policymakers have acknowledged that the risk of mismatches between jobseekers and job created has increased with economic restructuring and slowing local workforce growth. 

"So while the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) was launched in 2007 to help local PMETs acquire new skills to take on new careers, and expanded under Adapt and Grow to allow conversion to different jobs within the same sector or different jobs within the same company for sectors with high risks of redundancy, coupled with the Career Support Programme (CSP) which helps provide wage support for the first year of employment for mature PMETs who are made redundant, more can be done," it added.

Here's more from OCBC's pre-Budget 2017 thoughts:

There is some scope for a bigger helping hand for these displaced PMETs with their commitments, whether tax or otherwise, while encouraging them to leverage on the Skillsfuture scheme to upgrade their skills and find new sources of employment.

While we do not expect that the foreign manpower tightening will be unwound in the near-term due to the need to press on with weaning off the dependency on foreign labour, albeit there could be a possible concession in terms of delaying any planned increase in Foreign Worker Levy.

Instead, there will be continued and sustained efforts to encourage businesses to digitise and embrace new technologies. The support for the internationalisation drive could also be strengthened, such as extending the period, type and quantum of support for SMEs.

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