With the government’s announcement to reduce the foreign quota in the service sector, many foreign workers in the country have expressed fear of losing their jobs for which they have served for many years during their stay here in Singapore.
And while the said move looks to equalize the opportunities presented to citizens, this will undoubtedly displace hundreds and thousands of migrant workers, who have contributed greatly to the success of Singapore’s service industry through the years.
Foreign Workers at Risk of Unemployment as Gov’t Looks to Cut Budget for Service Sector
As per the announcement by the Singapore Business Review (SBR), foreign workers in Singapore are said to be “left in limbo” after the government announced that it will cut work pass (S-Pass) quota in the country progressively until 2021.
As pointed out by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat during the recent budget debate the foreign worker quota cut will primarily affect those in the services sector after the number of S-Pass service holders has reached a five-year high in 2018.
As per the SBR report, “The foreign workers in Singapore’s services sector face heightened risk of losing their jobs after finance minister Heng Swee Keat announced in his budget address that the government will be reducing the dependency ratio ceiling (DRC) for the services sector from the current 40% to 38% by January 1, 2020 and to 35% in January 1, 2021.”
At present, the government is also exploring the use of technologies in industries so that companies would progressively decrease the need for foreign manpower and labour, noting that this would also significantly boost productivity in these industries.
The Singapore government, through its employment transition scheme, also aims to provide more job opportunities for locals through training and skills enhancement. However, local companies do not seem to buy the idea of paying locals worth the price range of foreign talents across various positions.