The Business Times has recently interviewed our general manager, Pan Zaixian, on the Employment Pass Changes roll-out and its impact on businesses and employment of foreign workers.
Business groups are concerned that the government’s intention to raise the salary requirements for hiring foreigners on employment passes will add to business costs, or make it harder to hire people with specialised skills lacking in the local talent pool.
They are asking for employers’ views to be heard before policy changes are made, and urge a gradual roll-out to avoid labour- market shocks that could drive even competitive firms here out of business.
These business groups were reacting to comments by Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, who told BT in an exclusive interview published yesterday that the salary thresholds for all three levels of employment passes – Q1, P2 and P1 – must rise, clarifying earlier comments on a review of the workpass regime. This is to ensure real growth in young Singaporeans’ entry-level salaries, which have stagnated in recent years, and to level the playing field of job opportunities for locals, he said.
Kerry Consulting’s general manager, Pan Zaixian, said local talent pools mature alongside their economies. With or without government intervention, there will be more locals taking up jobs in time to come. This only comes with time, which allows the local job market to build depth.