The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) released ‘unskilled worker permit holders from non-traditional sources can be employed from the current 6 years up to 10 years since 1 July 2012’ (Ministry of Manpower 2012). The workers from non-traditional sources are those from ‘Bangladesh, Myanmar, Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, China, and Thailand’ (Ministry of Manpower 2012).


Some people said to extend the employment period of unskilled foreign workers might be the way to ease labor crunch in Singapore. As some Singaporean considered that ‘the reduction in the foreigner Dependency Ratio Ceilings’ (Singapore Government 2012) applied to some industries was too blunt. It might be better to take into consideration that companies keep their staff longer so there are not too many numbers change within the Dependency Ratio Ceiling.


Some experts believe the way will not too much ease the labor crunch. The extension employment period of unskilled foreign workers can help companies use labor effectively. Employers have more stable staff as they have already been trained, experienced and seasoned in the industry and local society. Unskilled foreign workers can also improve their skills and qualifications in the longer employment period. It is a win-win situation.


Singapore businesses are confronting two common problems, rising cost and severe shortage of labor. Government is seeking more solutions to support local companies from gathering feedback through tracking each industry. It is concluded that the extension to employment period of unskilled foreign workers is beneficial for both companies and foreign workers.

Reference List:

Ministry of Manpower 2012, Greater Flexibility for Businesses to Optimise their Foreign Manpower, [online]. Available at URL: [Accessed 29 Mar 2012].

Singapore Government 2012, Singapore Budget 2012: Key Budget Initiatives, [online]. Available at URL: [Accessed 29 Mar 2012].