sda labour day 2024

SDA May Day Message: A Career Mobility Scheme to Improve Opportunities for Singaporean Job-Seekers

Dear Friends,

There were 13,000 private-hire vehicle drivers in 2013. In 2023, this number ballooned to 76,000.

Such gig workers earn roughly less than half the median salary of a local worker.

In the long run, Singaporeans like these will be left behind. Because of low pay and poor job prospects that stem from working at a low-skill job.

Skills Future is a commendable scheme in, theory, to improve career mobility.

However, since its launch in 2014, the government has not published any data to tangibly show how training has resulted in better job prospects for the under-employed or re-employment for job-seekers who have been retrenched.

What we do know is – in 2023, 88,400 new jobs were created and, of this, 4,900 of those jobs went to locals. “Locals” means PRs and Singaporeans.

The government says more foreign workers are needed because there are not enough skilled Singaporeans to fill jobs here.

Yet, some 60 percent of Singaporeans have post-secondary, diploma, professional qualification or university level credentials.

It is a waste of talent if our hardworking and progressive Singaporeans cannot fulfil their potential after going through years of our world-class education system.

Free-Trade Agreements should not just mean a free pass for the many foreign workers coming to Singapore.

Rather than relying on MNCs to set up shop here and hope that they create jobs in our saturated economy, the government must aggressively expand the prospects of our Singaporean talents beyond our shores.

Such a push will give our enterprising talents the chance to put their skills to good use, forge new career paths, and prosper in more diverse economies instead of competing for low-wage, low-skilled jobs with the influx of foreigners in Singapore.

The SDA will talk more about our Career Mobility Scheme in our upcoming manifesto.

We are dedicated to improving the lives of Singaporean Talents, and the lives of their families, in the long run.

To this end, we will continue to engage residents, formulate sound alternative strategies to improve lives based on this feedback, and make sure the voices of Common Singaporeans are heard.

Happy Labour Day.

Desmond Lim
Singapore Democratic Alliance

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