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What is the impact on industry and the economy of further tightening of work pass rules over time ? 

Posted on 10/09/2021 by webadmin

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally speech this year focused on the fault lines in society that have been deepened by the pandemic: 
– the plight of lower-wage workers
– disquiet over foreign work pass holders
– issues of race and religion 

To ease the anxieties of Singaporeans over job competition, the criteria for the Employment Pass (EP) and S Pass will continue to be tightened over time, Mr Lee said. 

But it will be done “gradually and progressively over time” so as not to introduce sudden shocks that might hurt businesses. 

“This will ensure that work pass holders come in where we most need them, and we won’t be flooded with more than we can absorb, doing jobs for which Singaporeans are qualified and available,” said Mr Lee. 

What is the impact on industry and the economy of further tightening of work pass rules over time ?

Joshua Yim, CEO of ACHIEVE Group, contributed  the following comments to The Business Times ‘Views from the Top’ on September 2, 2021:

Tightening of  work pass rules could be driven by the nature of job and the availability of  talents, rather than by the usual qualifications and salary prerequisites.

Today, Singaporean PMEs have the competencies to excel in many positions, particularly in  HR, finance, legal and taxation. Conversely, there is a scarcity of Singaporean talents in areas like bioscience, data science, cyber technology.

Work pass rules could thus be adjusted to allow foreign specialists who possess the skills that Singaporeans do not possess at present. This ensures our industries will not be held back for the lack of talents, Singaporeans’ job concerns can be equitably addressed, while our economy as whole can progress and remain competitive.