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    May 20, 2014

    Govt's task: Creating the right job mix

    THE Government yesterday pinpointed important challenges as the nation's economy makes the transition to higher quality, more productive growth.

    With an increasingly educated workforce, the Republic has to strike the right balance in creating - and filling - top managerial and leadership jobs, government ministries said yesterday.

    Singapore also has to sharpen its competitive edge and lift incomes in order to remain a "nation of opportunity, where every Singaporean can succeed whatever his starting point".

    These goals were outlined in the first addenda to the President's Address - public statements by government ministries on their upcoming plans.

    President Tony Tan Keng Yam's address on Friday to the 12th Parliament kicked off the second half of the Government's term.

    The House will sit next Monday at 1.30pm to debate Dr Tan's address, and the various programmes to be announced by the ministries this week.

    The Ministry of Trade and Industry said it would persevere in the ongoing economic restructuring effort. More than $300 million has been set aside over the next three years to help small and medium-sized enterprises.

    Singapore also has to ensure that workers are equipped with high-level skills to take on cutting-edge jobs, such as 3D printing in the manufacturing industry.

    Ministries will focus on creating good jobs for the 40,000 to 45,000 young Singaporeans entering the job market every year for the next three years.

    Two thirds of them aspire to become professionals, managers and executives (PMEs), as well as technicians.

    Meeting their job aspirations will be a challenge, especially since the workforce also needs to have "the right balance", said Second Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran yesterday.

    "We cannot just have PME jobs, we need other jobs to complement them... A larger base that supports the activities of PMEs," he said.

    Singapore's role as a hub for businesses in the region will boost the number of positions available for PMEs here, as companies use the Republic as a base to coordinate their activities, he added.