Singapore unlikely to soften curb on low-skilled foreign workers

But the city-state looks to lure more talents in high-skilled areas such as fintech.

Bloomberg reported that the odds are low for Singapore to ease up its policy to limit the inflow of foreign low-skilled workers as the scheme worked positively with firms pushing to invest in automation and other productivity-inducing measures, finance minister Heng Swee Keat said.

“We cannot continue to rely on sort of low-cost foreign workers, because we need to move towards productivity- and innovation-driven growth,” Heng said. When foreign labor was too freely available in the past, it reduced “the pressure and incentive for companies to take productivity upgrading seriously.”

Meanwhile, the government backed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have teamed up to work on complains about hiring workers in high-skilled sectors such as financial technology through programmes such as partnerships with local universities to beef up their talent pool.

“They are very focused on this issue, and we will want to create the conditions that will allow for the right mix of talent in these new growth areas,” Heng said.

Here’s more from Bloomberg.

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