Education Minister Ong Ye Kung shared last September 19 (Wednesday) in an interview with Bloomberg, that Singapore is in need of more foreign talents with highly specialized skills in areas particularly in software programming as the country recalibrates its education system to better prepare for future demands.
One of the critical issues which Minister Ong pointed out in his interview was whether or not Singapore has the needed number of workers to create a vibrant economy that will draw in investments and promote business innovation. To address this, Singapore has to maintain minimal restriction on foreign labour for high-end jobs while following through its quota system for lower-skilled industries which include construction.
Education Minister: Foreign Talents Needed for High-End Jobs in Singapore
According to Minister Ong, “Talent is very short everywhere in the world – AI talent, software programmers.” It is for this reason that Singapore is eyeing to let in more of these specialized professionals as the country requires a critical mass for this budding sector to take off. While this pushes through, industry experts and education specialists will continue to train Singaporeans for those jobs in the future.
In line with the adjustments and re-calibration of the education system, Minister Ong shared that this will be done so that the approach to education and learning in general will be more “fun”, and more holistic through which children can discover their passion and develop an aptitude in deciding at what they want to pursue in life.
Minister Ong further shared, “It’s not just my marks but also developing my passion, an idea of my future, my journey, and getting soft skills.”
The transformation which the Minister hopes to achieve for Singapore’s education system soon, will have to take baby steps along with the big strides provided by “supporting” foreign labour to keep the country in step with its vision of becoming a vibrant economy in the region despite the challenges of an ageing population and dwindling labour force.