CPF flexibility, alternatives for non-graduates needed: SPP

By Howard Lee

While Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally speech raised important issues, more needs to be done to address concerns about the employment of non-graduates and the use retirement monies by Central Provident Fund (CPF) members, said the Singapore People’s Party (SPP) in a media statement.

Responding to PM Lee’s speech, SPP agreed that there was a need to create alternative career paths. “Today, students who cannot qualify for local universities incur debts while studying at private universities. Sometimes, private degrees may not be recognized.”

The solution, however, need not be to get non-graduates to level up and scale up the corporate ladder.

“In the UK for example, manufacturing firms offer apprenticeship programmes allowing non-graduates to become highly-paid specialists. Wage is the most important consideration.”

SPP then questioned if PM Lee’s decision to provide more opportunities for non-graduates will necessarily lead to this increase in wages, particularly if it would be “as high as their university peers who are already in management-level positions”.

The party also suggested that keeping track of the quality of non-management jobs created could be a better way of improving employment for non-graduates.

While agreeing with PM Lee that CPF was a complex issue, SPP reiterate its earlier stand that the justifications for the the increase in Minimum Sum quantum needs to be made public.

As such, the SPP also called for “more flexibility in principle on CPF” and “more monitoring of the details of the changes to CPF policy”.

SPP’s media statement is also available on the party’s website.

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