Tight labour market until 2030
In his May Day message, National Trades Union Congress Secretary-General Lim Swee Say said that Singaporeans should expect the labour market to tighten until 2030. This follows figures released last week by the Manpower Ministry which indicated that 11,560 workers were laid off last year, slightly more than in 2012. Mr Lim called for a need for Singaporeans to adjust their mindset, to “change our economy, our workforce and our society for the better”, and to “value our jobs more and take greater pride in what we do”, he was reported as saying.
Mr Lim, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, also said that Singapore still enjoys healthy economic growth and wages are increasing faster than inflation, but noted a need to manage the economic restructuring to reduce its impact.
More funding for self-help groups
The Singapore government is considering additional funding for three self-help groups to support their programmes and services for the needy, as part of national efforts to build stronger social safety nets and help low-income families level up.
Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong said the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) and the Eurasian Association had proposed the increase with the view of funding skills-training courses, courses to help students, parent-child bonding activities and active-ageing activities. He opined that an increase in effort by these groups should be matched by the government’s assistance in grants. The groups also suggested raising monthly CPD contributions to their respective self-help groups to support this.
Chan Chun Sing: Singaporeans should come forward to help needy
Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing encouraged Singaporeans to help the needy. “There are many people who are able to (volunteer) and help other people and we hope they’ll join the ranks of volunteers to reach out to and help out needy families,” he was reported in media as saying, at an event organised by the People’s Association. He also recommended that families take time off from their busy schedules to spend quality time together.
PA interest groups to bridge “cultural gaps”
The People’s Association has initiated interest groups at all 87 constituencies to encourage interaction, strengthen bonds and minimise misunderstandings among residents. This would be done through cultural activities to bring Singaporeans and new immigrants together, organised by volunteers in the groups. The interest groups will be led by “connectors” who are part of the Community Engagement Programme.
South Korea ferry disaster – PM resigns
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won resigned yesterday in response to criticism over the government’s handling of the over the government’s handling of the Sewol ferry sinking that has left more than 300 people, mostly teachers and children, dead or missing.
“Keeping my post is too great a burden on the administration,” Mr Chung was reported by media as saying. “On behalf of the government, I apologise for many problems from the prevention of the accident to the early handling of the disaster.”