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Stricter rules on lower-skilled foreign workers boost local employment: MOM

Manpower Minister Tan See Leng showed its key findings on workforce policies.

Imposing tighter policies for lower-skilled foreign workers will benefit local workers instead of stricter rules for higher skilled workers, Manpower Minister Tan See Leng said.

In his response to a Parliament Question, Tan said these were their findings in a study on foreign workforce policies.

“This is because businesses were able to substitute lower-skilled but cheaper foreign workers with locals, and therefore improve production processes accordingly,” said Tan. 

“This has informed our approach of remaining open to high-quality, foreign professionals, whilst maintaining a disciplined stance in regulating the number of work permit holders through quotas and levies,” added Tan.

But Tan did not discount that studies have their limitations as it is important to consider other information to ensure these results are accurate. 

“The impact of the interventions studied might also change if they are applied beyond a certain scale or at a different time period. As such, they need to be interpreted carefully alongside other sources of information, including more recent labour market statistics, as well as industry feedback,” added Tan.

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