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SNEF May Day Message 2023 By Dr Robert Yap, President, Singapore National Employers Federation

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27 Apr 2023
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The Singapore economy grew by 3.6 per cent in 2022 with all sectors recording full-year expansion. Total employment (excluding migrant domestic workers) grew by 231,700 in 2022, while unemployment and retrenchments declined .

Despite the improvements in the labour market situation, productivity declined by 0.8 per cent in 2022. With uncertain economic environment, Singapore’s GDP growth is projected to slow down to between 0.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent in 2023 .

Better Jobs

Nonetheless, with the full reopening of the Singapore economy and other economies in 2023, employers should press on with business transformation efforts to seize new growth opportunities and be more productive. The Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) is working with the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) to support employers to create and recreate better jobs in their transformation journey through the Productivity Solutions Grant-Job Redesign and Company Training Committee Grant.

Better Skills

These better jobs would require new skills. However, there may be skills mismatches which could result in jobseekers not being able or ready to seize these opportunities. Hence, the pilot Jobs-Skills Integrator initiative would help to aggregate manpower and skill demand so that jobseekers can be better trained and matched to jobs.

Employers should upskill and reskill their existing employees to bring them along their transformation journey. Employers should proactively train them to meet their future skill demand since they are in a better position to know what the skill requirements are. On the other hand, workers, should also take charge of their own development and work with their employers to identify skill gaps and embrace lifelong learning in order to stay relevant and employable. They should also be adaptable to take on new job roles.

Better Career

Besides creating better jobs and equipping workers with better skills, SNEF is working with our tripartite partners, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and NTUC, to provide better career for all workers. With the expansion of the Progressive Wage Models to more sectors and the introduction of Progressive Wage Mark, there would be clear career pathways with sustainable wage increases and training for lower-wage workers.

With Singapore being the regional and global headquarters to many multinational corporations and more local companies venturing overseas, the tripartite partners will also support Singaporeans to develop for regional and global leadership roles. As such, SNEF encourage Singaporean workers to take on overseas postings when the opportunities arise to gain relevant experience and exposure which are necessary to take on such roles.


While the tripartite partners are committed to upgrade and uplift local workers, Singapore’s labour market needs to remain open to foreigners that can complement our local workforce. As a group of responsible employers, SNEF is dedicated to ensuring workplace fairness to maintain harmonious workplaces for employers to achieve sustainable growth.

This would enable every worker to have better jobs, better wages and better prospects.

On behalf of employers, Happy May Day to all workers!