‘Singapore has tightened foreign workforce since 2010′ (Ministry of Manpower 2012) due to the slowdown regional economy and the availability of local workforces. The steps were phased in by increasing foreign workers’ levies, the criteria for S Pass and Employment Pass, and so on.

Singapore aims to avoid a circumstance that the development of Singapore’s economy depends on the foreign workers in a long term.  In behalf of Singapore, ‘government is working on to keep the percentage of foreign workers is no higher than one-third of total workeforces’ (Ministry of Manpower 2011).  To achieve this target, Singapore government will moderate foreign workers’ growth in some extent.


However, the higher demand of foreign workers on construction sector is making local employers in dilemma situation. Due to the change of foreign workers quota and quite difficult to get local to work on the construction industry, employers choose to raise wages or even have to hire illegal foreign workers to implement their projects on schedule.


How to monitor the situation to control the percentage of foreign workers and also have enough foreign workers to feed some industries which have increasing demand will be a big issue for current Singapore government.

Reference List:

Ministry of Manpower 2011, MOM’s Addendum to the President’s Address 2011: Issued by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Manpower Tharman Shanmugaratnam, [online]. Available at URL: http://www.mom.gov.sg/newsroom/Pages/HighlightsDetails.aspx?listid=81[Accessed 16 Feb 2012].

Ministry of Manpower 2012, Written Answer by Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Finance and Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on number of Work Permits, S Passes and Employment Passes issued since tightening of foreign workers’ quota, [online]. Available at URL: http://www.mom.gov.sg/newsroom/Pages/PQRepliesDetails.aspx?listid=15 [Accessed 16 Feb 2012].