Trade associations appeal for support to address manpower challenges in policy paper

SINGAPORE: Business associations in the providers industries have banded collectively to appeal for a concerted effort to sort out the manpower crunch they face in a policy paper revealed on Thursday (May 12).

The paper, revealed by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), characterize numerous sectors together with life-style providers, environmental providers, and property & amenities administration providers.

It outlines methods in which companies, commerce associations and chambers, authorities companies, unions and academic establishments can work collectively to address manpower challenges confronted by the industries, mentioned the SBF in a press launch.

SBF mentioned that the reopening of borders and resumption of actions are alternatives for corporations in the providers industries to develop. Nine key actions have been developed in session with eight commerce associations and chambers.

They are the Environmental Management Association of Singapore (EMAS), Landscape Industry Association (Singapore) (LIAS), Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS), Security Association Singapore (SAS), Singapore Hotel Association (SHA), Singapore Nightlife Business Association (SNBA), Singapore Retailers Association (SRA), and Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore (WMRAS).

They referred to as for a variety of actions to be taken, corresponding to for tripartite companions to actively coordinate the redeployment of workforce from pandemic-related operations to life-style providers.

“As the demand for temporary jobs relating to the enforcement of safe management measures tapers, there is scope for workers to be intentionally redirected to the lifestyle services with close coordination between the agencies hiring these workers and NTUC’s e2i, and businesses tapping on various government schemes to offer good jobs in adjacent customer-facing roles,” mentioned SBF in the media launch.

The associations and chambers additionally recommended higher cross-sector collaboration to “achieve higher operational efficiency and better resource allocation”.

For instance, having “win-win arrangements” to optimise manpower necessities for warehousing and supply, as a substitute of each retailer making an attempt to recruit and handle its personal in-house logistics group.

“Strengthening cross-sector collaboration and optimising resource utilisation will allow businesses in the retail sector to respond to the changes in consumption and purchasing patterns, and transform for growth,” mentioned SRA president Ernie Koh.

The policy paper additionally means that tripartite companions evaluate the broad classifications of enterprise exercise for the providers sector, and develop the Non-Traditional Source (NTS) Occupation List for work allow holders, in addition to diversify the NTS international locations.

The Ministry of Manpower had earlier introduced that corporations might be in a position to rent employees for occupations on this record on work permits as a substitute of S Passes. Workers on S Passes have a better minimal qualifying wage.

“With the shrinking pool of new entrant Singaporeans willing to work in these sectors every year, foreign manpower supplements are necessary to meet the demands for such services, even with ongoing efforts to transform the sectors and redesign jobs,” mentioned SBF.

The present providers sector classification, which additionally contains knowledge-intensive sectors corresponding to finance and insurance coverage, ICT, {and professional} providers, doesn’t mirror labour market dynamics confronted by the varied providers sub-sectors, it mentioned.

“A more nuanced classification of business activity, particularly for services is required so that differentiated policy interventions can be applied to address specific manpower challenges.”

It added that commerce associations and chambers are already working carefully with the varied authorities our bodies on initiatives and policy enhancements to address the tight manpower scenario.

But there’s an “urgent need to recalibrate manpower supply” in the providers industries to allow corporations to function at optimum capability and ship good service, and to assist corporations to plan forward for development and transformation,” mentioned SBF.

SBF CEO Mr Lam Yi Young mentioned: “To keep Singapore’s popularity as an environment friendly and vibrant enterprise and leisure vacation spot of selection, the providers industries want entry to appropriate and enough manpower to support their operations and development.

“Even as they double down on automating processes and redesigning jobs, businesses still need to be able to recruit and retain sufficient local and foreign manpower.”

SHA president Kwee Wei-Lin mentioned that as inbound journey recovers, the hospitality sector has been “relentless in improving productivity whilst supporting the quarantine needs of the nation”.

She mentioned: “The industry needs quality manpower to maintain the best service standards and experiences for Singapore to remain a destination of choice.”

Trade associations appeal for support to address manpower challenges in policy paper

Chew Hui Min

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