The value a company places in its workforce is no different than the value a country should place in their working population. While both of these tend to not be an issue during productive periods in the economy, they come to the forefront during an economic downturn. Companies truly loyal to their employees emerge, fighting off a potentially necessary shrinking of their workforce. Countries double down on their working population, putting in the resources to help shift them towards emerging economies.
Setting a gold standard for aiding their working population, Singapore has taken steps in 2016 to better address the changing economy and the needs of their workers. Through the institution of a series of reforms made by the Minister of Singapore, workers who may have been hurt by the economic downturn now have options for finding employment again. Let’s take a moment to review these announcements and see what policies have been set in place.
1. Transitioning Workers
Some workers in Singapore have found themselves with a great deal of training already, and require assistance in transitioning their employment. In particular, assisting transitioning workers concerns creating the right incentives for companies looking to hire those who have been struggling with unemployment and who have skills. Finding homes for these professionals comes out to about $35 million.
2. Workers In Tech
Aiding in the expansion of their information technology sector, workers in tech are being retrained when necessary to fulfill needed roles in other businesses. In addition, individuals are being trained with tech related skills as well to better increase opportunities for future employment. A great deal of emphasis in this program is put towards certification.
3. Disabled Workers
the Workforce Training support that has traditionally assisted a more select population of individuals will be expanded to assist individuals with disabilities as well. Beginning in 2017, individuals with disabilities who are under 35 can provide assistance in placing these individuals into positions where they can succeed and continue to grow.
4. Older Workers
Frequently lauded, the Special Employment Credits offered by the Singapore government have made it possible for individuals in disenfranchised groups to find employment through participating business. One aspect of SEC was the older worker scheme put in place years ago. Under the scheme, those age 50 or above would give their employer special tax credits when it came to hiring them and paying their salary. The SEC was changed to be 55 or above, and offer increased percentages of those 65 and older, effectively helping to prevent the entire older generation from struggling with job loss during this uncertain economic time.
5. Low-Wage Workers
Within Singapore, there is a workfare income supplement that typically aids those who are considered low-wage. Singapore is increasing the benefits that are paid out, benefiting more than 400,000 Singapore residents. With payments switched from quarterly to monthly and the amount paid increased, Singapore is re-investing in their working class, making their country stronger as they ride out an uncertain economic period.