Workforce renewal in Singapore: placing human capital at the forefront of competitiveness

Kuah, Adrian, and Le Queux, Stephane (2018) Workforce renewal in Singapore: placing human capital at the forefront of competitiveness. In: [Presented at the International Conference on Human Capital]. From: International Conference on Human Capital, 28-29 November 2018, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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Abstract

The availability of skilled labour and labour productivity are critical factors in developed economies, and are commonly viewed as key to Singapore's economic success. Tripartism is an underlying factor supporting Singapore's economic advancement into a highly developed trade-oriented economy, with a GDP figure that can rival any major Western economy. Apart from boosting Singapore's economic performance, the tripartite arrangement has been a platform for the Singapore government to launch many schemes to boost productivity growth, encourage skills upgrading, and even forge consensus on national wage guidelines.

The presentation covers Singapore's attempt to raise productivity, characterized by the 'productivity movement' from the 1980s, to recent developments following recommendations from the Inter-Agency Productivity Taskforce that proposed a range of initiatives that included 'Skills Future'. An expectation is that widespread investment in human capital creates in the labour-force the skill-base indispensable for economic growth. However, the new agenda is full of challenges. For instance, because Singapore aims to become a regional talent hub, authorities want to reassure international investors that they will not be restricted from access to the human capital they need. In spite of upskilling, a critical issue is whether or not the Singaporean 'core' workforce, and especially its young graduates, are competitive with global talents.

The presentation is also addressing the formation of the tripartite arrangement in Singapore, including institutional arrangements between the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC), Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) and Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Together these tripartite partners collaborated on many instances to promote 'harmonious' labour relations and advanced the national agenda on HRD. Following the review of policies that characterize the 'productivity movement' up till now, the last section concludes with some of the challenges facing tripartist governance in contemporary Singapore and envisages to which extent Singapore can provide an institutional benchmark of apparent good practice in terms of policies towards skills development and human capital in the ASEAN region.

Item ID: 56914
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Keywords: Singapore, human capital
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2019 23:32
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150305 Human Resources Management @ 50%
15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150306 Industrial Relations @ 50%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910402 Management @ 50%
91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910401 Industrial Relations @ 50%
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