SINGAPORE, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Singapore will launch new manpower strategies to help companies and workers deal with the economic downturn and invest in skills upgrading, Acting Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
He said in a written reply to a parliamentary question that a tripartite taskforce will be set up to help companies reduce manpower costs and help retrenched workers find jobs, local TV Channel NewsAsia reported.
Gan said the tripartite partners, comprising the Manpower Ministry, the Singapore National Employers' Federation and the labor movement NTUC, will strongly encourage companies to manage their excess manpower and consider retrenchments only as a last resort.
He suggested that companies should redeploy workers to other areas of work and send excess manpower for skills upgrading and training, or adopt alternative arrangements like short work-week.
According to the report, the Manpower Ministry will release the revised Tripartite Guidelines on Managing Excess Manpower on Wednesday.
The tripartite partners will closely monitor the employment situation in affected sectors and will step up efforts to help companies and affected workers cope with the downturn.
The ministry will be announcing more details on the Skills Program for Upgrading and Resilience later this week, which will provide small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with financing help and a new training program for workers, according to the report.