Security of jobs

In the future, jobs will become more uncertain due to globalization, trade disputes, economic recession, uncompetitiveness and other factors.

What can a country do to ensure that its citizens have jobs?

Here are my ideas:

a) It needs better manpower planning. It needs to identify the jobs that are available locally and the jobs that can be created by its businesses that can compete globally. It needs to train its people to have the skills for these jobs

b) It needs to have systems that allow workers to move from one job to another, due to changing demand, or from one employer to another. It needs to provide interim financing at a modest cost, to help this transition.

c) It needs to create jobs in the domestic economy to improve the quality of life and to encourage families to have more children, so that the population can reproduce itself.

Manpower Planning

Manpower planning sounds like central planning that did not work in the past. We are now in a different era. With the use of big data and communication through the internet, manpower planning can be done effectively.

Let us see where the current system fails. We do not produce workers who are willing to take up the service and production jobs. We need to rely on foreign workers.

We train too many graduates who are not able to find jobs. The employed graduates do not have the skills for the jobs that they are recruited into, and have to be trained at considerable expenses.

What can be done to overcome these systemic problems?

We need to raise wages for the “unwanted” jobs to a level that can attract the local workers. If the wages are adequate, some local workers do not mind to do these jobs, as it suits their aptitude.

We need to avoid an oversupply of people who are interested in the “good” jobs. The wages of these good jobs should be flexible (and may be adjusted downward) to avoid the oversupply. It may take a few years for a person to be trained with the skills for these jobs. They should have some security that the available jobs wll be given to them, so that they can embark on the training.

I advocate licensing of these jobs to facilitate the planning. If a person spends a few years to be trained to be an engineer, he needs to be assured that there will be a job available for him, instead of the job being given to a foreign worker.

Financing of Workers in Transition

In spite of good planning to avoid massive disruptions, workers may have to move from one employer to another or to work in a different industry at some stage during their lives.

We need a good system to provide interim financing at a low cost.

Many countries have unemployment insurance to provide some benefits for several months to help workers in this transition.

Beyond unemployment insurance, we need a way for them to get extended financing if it is required. The workers can draw on their retirement savings (i.e. the Central Provident Fund) or some financing from the state at a modest rate of interest (e.g. negative balances in the CPF).

We can also make it easier for these workers to have temporary or part time jobs in the gig or the informal economy.

Improve Quality of Life

The state can create many jobs that improve the quality of life for the people. These jobs can provide a better standard of care for the elderly and for children or to provide guides to help people, including tourists, to move around and have access to services.

The state should also make it possible for families to raise children. The cost of raising children should be largely borne by the state, and not the families. This requires the state to provide free child care, education and medical care for children.

If more families have children, many jobs can be created for teachers, child care minders, doctors, nurses, bus drivers, food providers, etc. The domestic economy can be vibrant.


A well run country has the means to create useful and productive jobs for its people and to ensure that that everyone, who is willing work, can be assured of a good paying job.

This requires a visionary and effective government.


Tan Kin Lian



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23 Responses to “Security of jobs”

  • TriiBlu:

    Let young lolly-$uckers face the music themselves.

    GD Star Rating
  • NotMyProblem:

    @Mr. Tan; job security is “jobs given to Singaporeans first”, nothing to do with skill training.

    Singapore was a financial hub, we have plenty of people in banking/finance but now these jobs are taken over but cheap FTs.

    We have plenty of people in IT too, but this is taken over by FTs too.

    In an office of 11 people, 4 were Malaysian, 2 Pinos and 1 Hongkee. All were admin executives with S-passes. These jobs can be done by Singaporeans. So what skill we are talking about?

    There is no jobs in Singapore that Singaporeans cannot do.

    With the invitation from PAP, these jobs are given to FTs with both hands.

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  • Disappointed:

    Mr Tan you sound pretty ignorant as you actually expect scholars
    and ex-generals to offer fresh ideas. The trend here today is to
    do only what LKY did, even tho its grossly outdated now.

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  • most uselss:

    The retrenchment recently went up and locals were the unfortunate ones. The rehiring then goes to FT.

    In building this country for more votes and GDP, the govt will import, give jobs to foreigners and have them convert to citizens. They will continue to win election till 2050 where we will have 10M as planned.

    We can talk about options and ideas of how to improve the country but the govt will never listen. They will pretend to listen and then still screw locals.

    How many times have you heard cry wolf before every GE? Every GE, the same pattern and Singaporeans still think PAPPY care?

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  • True facts:

    True all jobs given to fts when they import them here.
    Mismgt by lhl.

    Time for change.

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  • 70%happyslaves:

    You should ask where”good paying jobs” come from before blindly begging for more work with “good pay” just like someone who sell themselves(leave it to your imagination) to improve their quality of life.

    You guys just don’t know the depth of humiliation/hypocrisy/stupidity you are in being constantly slapped in the face by the capitalist in the mirror you are looking at.

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  • the problem with lky son clown:

    A well run country has the means to create useful and productive jobs for its people and to ensure that that everyone, who is willing work, can be assured of a good paying job.

    No government in the world can create job outside of civil service military politics. Only private enterprise can.

    A country throwing dollars reaping cents does worse when it says, Singapore belongs to everyone.

    Of course, private entrepreneurs noting it costs far less to employ aliens FTs PRs, and no need for them to disappear up to 40 days each year for NSR, shall never stop telling lky son clown how wise he is to say, Singapore belongs to everyone.

    Truly, what a buffoon. Truly he buffoon believes in all the pretenses of private entrepreneurs who no end telling clown how wise he is when actually they are using his stupidity to make S$m at local born expense.

    In the end, 70% sheep asks for it. In the end, too, 70% sheep can change it.

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  • Jman:

    Companies are becoming obsolete faster than Government can gather statistics. In such a situation, Mr Tan, could you please elaborate how the Government can do manpower planning? The reality is that the Government’s long time manpower planning role has been pushed off the cliff by the speed of innovation today. These traditional tools are long gone and long obsolete. And yet there are so many pining for the Government to be more effective in this aspect.

    And now everyone wants to be a PMET. And in a bid to produce ever higher value output, the labour supply has got to be available. And yet the lifespan of innovative companies is so short. So the workers’ useful span in those jobs will also be correspondingly short.

    The issue is that there must be more home grown innovative companies. And that is the hardest part. Having home grown companies is already hard enough. Having a lot of home grown innovative companies, this is going to be a long and hard slog…

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  • PAP Is Killing Us:

    I was a PMET manager in an MNC but was replaced by a cheaper FT. Due to my age, it was a problem to apply for another job, so I drove for Grab to survive.

    Today, LTA announced that it will be introducing ERP by satellite where the motorist will be charged by total distance traveled and according to whether its peak hour or not.

    As long as you drive your car out of the car park you will have to pay. So Grab drivers and taxi drivers will have to incur a higher cost. We can charge our passengers higher price but this will deter them from taking our service. Indeed the PAP is trapping and killing all of us. Go left also cannot, go right also cannot. Then how ?

    It will also affect the other members of the public. The Van drivers and the Lorry divers who sent vegetables, meat, fruits, fish etc to the hawkers or restaurants will have to pay more ERP by satellite charges. They will in turn pass on their charges to these hawkers. The hawkers will in turn pass on the extra charges to the public who are their customers. The cost of everything in Singapore will eventually go sky high and not forgetting the coming 9 per cent GST increases.

    Would you vote for the PAP in the coming GE ? Indeed they want to kill all of us. Its time to kick them out. KNNBCCB Pinky.

    GD Star Rating
  • DSW:

    Erp also soon will be install onto lifts .

    And public toilets.

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  • Spittoon:

    After being humiliated by the ones with money, she took the money and buy some food(maketh the bosses in the supermarket rich), pays her taxes so leaders can be multimillionaire and live like royalties, goes to church pays tithes so leaders can buy beachfront penthouse and wife can spend like Hollywood star then stop by convenient store to get several packs of cigarettes and a few bottles of high spirited drinks.

    How many humiliated lowly paid workers and humiliated human beings in a developed econony maketh a few millionaires who control the rest may I ask?

    No ounce of conscience and righteousness in people anymore

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  • Crony corrupted copy cats:

    And they’re sucking up to the worse facets of Uncle Sam’s poltical-economy.

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  • Can We Save This Country?:

    Tougher penalties to businesses, many of which are government linked.
    Have a clear system to qualify foreigners working in Singapore.
    Government cannot allow tourists looking for permanent jobs.
    Welfare of Citizens must take preference and precedence.

    Competition for labour must be levelled, NS should be abolished,
    at least it should be further shortened and call-ups reduced.
    NSmen are not stepping stones or cheap labour for training upstart generals.
    Professional army should be installed.

    Some Tech MNCs have be exploiting government fundings, transferring staffs to avoid labour welfare commitment in their home countries, with no real transfer of advance know-how. The experience level of important government institutions have been diminishing and wanting.

    The PAP-system of “meritocracy” is failing. The system is now filled with lemmings rather than doers or go-getters. Self entitlement and preservation dominated the ranks.

    The current foreign influx makeup is a direct reflection of what the government allows. With all the issues surfacing, PAP is solely responsible and must take full blame.

    Licensing is a direct protection measure and only increase costs of doing businesses, should be avoided at all costs.

    GD Star Rating
  • SureDie:

    The promise of high paying jobs, for all, is a lie and only a lying tempter will make such promises . Those who take the bait, hoping and hankering for such jobs, are idiots because for every good paying job( and it has to keep rising to keep up with rising cost of living ) they have to create hundreds of low paying jobs(mid pay jobs barely sustainable fall into this category too).

    Along with millions of barely sustainable pay jobs created, these wealthy political masters also created “law challenging jobs” such as in casinos etc etc( they are not doing justice for the weaker citizen)

    Don’t be an idiot to believe in “the tempter”, the liar, for high paying jobs because that is one of the reason why your economy will tank eventually and foreigners are coming in the horde(inevitable) and invade your land by adulterating your quality and services when they soak up your USELESS jobs.

    If lately you find your commercial food taste bad or horrible, you know who to slap – yourself!

    But irrespective, sure die

    GD Star Rating
  • Immigration means Adults:

    Immigration means foreigners occupy a part of singapore in Jobs and Space.
    It means adding more adults than children.

    This means Much more Elderlies will be produces per cohort going forward

    This means Acceleration of Population Aging .

    Good luck to singaporeans.

    I am migrating not just because of this but i hold different Values and Beliefs than majority singaporeans.

    I do not agree nor accept Boh Bian Character , Culture, Values.

    GD Star Rating
  • Rabble-rouser:

    S’pore’s Economy is predicated on 2 basic economic principles that the S’pore govt has firmly enacted:

    1. Enhanced & “sell” state lands on a leasehold basis at a premium to all comers & maximized revenues to the state coffers (with the option of recycling the land); &

    2. Attract more incoming foreigners (population) & enticing more foreign investments (capital) as a means of enhancing land value, generate more housing demand & creating real estate byproducts like REITs, property trust & assorted rent-seeking type activities which have indirectly raise [escalated] the cost of living – 10 million population target not a myth but a fact.

    Points 1 & 2 are not only complimentary but also feed on one another. These 2 policies are absolutely essential towards fulfilling the S’pore govt’s agenda of self enrichment & sustaining their high ministerial pay.

    Anyone with a functioning brain can see that such policies would be:

    1. Detrimental to “good” job creation replacing with numerous low quality & dead-end jobs created simply to be filled by foreigners;

    2. Raise the cost of living in S’pore to such absurd levels because the basic land cost has become so prohibitive (expensive) that it radiates throughout the S’pore economy (inflate living costs);

    3. Reduce the ability of SME businesses to generate adequate cash flows; promulgate rent-seeking activities over enterprise/entrepreneurship & encourage price cartels, price gouging & uncompetitive business practices (collusion, cheating, etc).

    In addition, other policies that raise govt revenues are counterproductive to S’pore economic future:

    1. Misguided Transportation Policies – for a small geographical area, it is very expensive to travel & transport goods around S’pore. Oil products (Petrol/Diesel) are artificially inflated; COE is a wealth transfer mechanism which captures savings/ burdening debt on car buyers; numerous tolls (ERP) in addition to island-wide parking fees, road tax, etc. Public transportation is congested yet certain legs of the MRT system have underutilized capacity (Downtown line thru Bukit Timah, Western leg of the Circle line towards Harbourfront, etc).

    2. Conveyor belt (& congested) medical services yet very high medical charges to users. The health system in S’pore is failing. Land costs have infected into the healthcare system making healthcare costs unaffordable. Preventive healthcare education is an afterthought as Curative medicine is more profitable (Corporate Medicine) – see the numerous diabetic, obese, hypertension (kidney failure) & assorted prevalent illness in S’pore.
    - Cont’d -

    GD Star Rating
  • Darth Vader:

    1: The ministers keep exhorting us all to accept only $1,000/- a month while they pay themselves millions

    2: $1,000/- p.m. is the minimum recommended salary for the lowest paid unskilled workers and can be taken as the de facto poverty line i.e. the pap WANTS us to live in borderline poverty

    3: This will make us dependent on welfare benefits that not all will qualify for

    4: It also means that we cannot challenge them at in politics

    5: Denying our children access to university education will have the same result

    6: The pap keeps telling locals that the “gig economy” is the future, but permanent jobs are STILL required. So WHO is getting ALL the permanent jobs?

    7: It’s extremely clear the pap’s goal is to remain in power forever by denying us the opportunity to rise up

    So tkl, HOW will your “centralized planned economy” solve ANY of these problems? If you understand nothing then SHUT UP!!!!

    GD Star Rating
  • Rabble-rouser:

    3. Energy & water policies are out of synch with world trends. S’pore is still dependent on fossil fuels because the high land cost policies precludes renewable solutions using solar panel farms while our congested sea lanes can’t accommodate wind power. S’pore energy consumption baseload is high because S’pore is configured for intensive high rise living (lifts, lighted corridors, water pumps/roof water tanks, etc). Purified water, on the other hand, is getting scare in S’pore because of intense population pressures. This is inspite of living in the tropics where rainfall is adequate. Most desalination projects are designed for arid regions where rainfall is scarce. S’pore is the exception. Why? It is because there are too much people concentration & the inherent infrastructure failure to design rainwater harvesting & construct more water bodies (again, high land costs). This is one critical reason why S’pore’s cost structure is so high while the rest of the world are striving to lower their cost structure (using renewable energy whose capital cost is fast declining as economies of scale ramps up; using rainwater harvesting as a cheap water resource, etc). At the end, population growth policies are counterproductive no matter what the urban experts say!

    Many S’poreans are living in a bubble (vacuum) unable to comprehend that their existential life is fast eroding & might even be terminal:

    1. High housing cost is 100% unproductive. It traps productive capital from being applied into productive use like manufacturing, business & service providing activities, etc. It is not wealth because property values are a greater fool game. Already the signs are not good in S’pore with 70,000 looming vacant units emerging (Bloomberg report).

    2. Geopolitical tensions & the fact nobody really loves S’pore. TPPA died in 2016 (killed by Trump’s 1st act as President); BRI was designed to circumvent S’pore’s geographical advantage (by China’s President Xi Jingpin); Mahathir’s ascension renewed M’sia/S’pore boundary issues & halted cooperation projects; Khmer/Vietnam furore over statements of “invasion”, etc.

    3. Economic roadblocks rising as trade wars, Middle East tensions (war?) & economic blocs clouded the future economic event horizon. If you’re heavily indebted & chockful of property (mortgage) or share investments (marginable), good luck to you!

    Jobs will be the last thing you’ll be looking for when the s**t hit the ceiling fan. Because survival is all that matters!

    GD Star Rating
  • limpei:

    just limit The number of work permits and passes for foreigners! donkey TKL

    GD Star Rating
  • Cogs in a machine:

    From young Singaporeans are taught to just obey and not question authority. What happens is nation of people trained to be cogs in the economic machine. Which is why they all go:”where are the jobs?” Starting their own business is something anathema.

    GD Star Rating
  • joe tiu bareback black:

    one of us used to sell to SGP military.

    it was the best job in the world. every sale profit could last many years.

    because the ffffing buying authority in SGP military all ffffing non degree colonels.

    sure they have scholar generals oversight the non degree generals. but the way the game is played is such the degree generals needed to write nobody reads reports to get that extra star so no time to oversight the non degree colonels.

    and this is how the stupid non degree colonels talk, Don’t talk to me about money, as if S$ grows on trees.

    sure. S$ is free of charge and plentiful due to 70% sheep CPF. but we know, for 100% certainty, this cheap source of infinite money supply to pap gic temasick waste ain’t going to be sustainable.

    there shall come a time, sooner or later, when 70% sheep shall revolt.

    do we care whether 70% sheep lives well or lives badly? ffff NO. we are only concerned if 70% sheep stupidity continues and we continue to be collateral damage.

    GD Star Rating
  • UniQ:

    Mr Tan’s thinking has proof that the Papies concepts n processes to problem solving is totally obselete n out of synch with the new economic dynamics.

    Basically, changes to our leaders is a must ! Because one can no longer teach an old puppy new tricks.

    The system is broken, n the ship is showing difficult signs of keeping itself afloat due the misguided notions of old ocean fairing technics over new climate change condition.

    Maslow theory : Human is resistance to change. Especially when you look upon yourself as an Elite !! instead on the purpose to serve.

    As i always guide my senior guys, mgmt n manupulations is drawn across a very fine line, only define by the intent from the heart.

    GD Star Rating
  • Ocbc bank GLRC kena use:

    Sg gov should assist us since the mkt is bad now.

    GD Star Rating

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