Foreign spouses could reduce dependence on foreign labour

HRM 20 Nov 2012

The foreign spouses of Singaporeans here could potentially be a talent source to be tapped on to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign labour, said Yeo Guat Kwang, chairman of the Migrant Workers’ Centre.

In a report by Channel News Asia, Yeo said: “At the moment, all our employers are looking to other countries with the help of intermediaries to bring in foreign workers. But in fact, in Singapore, many locals have foreign spouses."

"At the moment, all our employers are looking to other countries with the help of intermediaries to bring in foreign workers. But in fact, in Singapore, many locals have foreign spouses," he explained. "We will also request for MOM to provide the similar level of training support for the foreign spouses to help them because they give us Singaporean children, and they are with Singaporeans.”

There are already schemes by the Ministry of Manpower to help foreign spouses find work in Singapore, he adds.

For example, they are not subjected to quotas, restrictions from country source, and do not need to pay any levies when they apply for work permits.

On a separate note, Yeo also said that the government should strive to focus on quality not quantity when it comes to foreign workers. He commented that the Ministry ought to set a minimum qualification requirement for those seeking work permit renewals.

A better-skilled workforce would be more productive and cost-efficient for the economy, and less prone to abuse, he explained.

He said that in the last three years, he has seen a sharp spike in the number of distressed foreign workers – from 1,200 to 1,500 a year. Most of them are low-skilled and vulnerable to exploitation.



Leave your comment
Start a new discussion

HRM Asia forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Post a Comment
HRM Asia welcomes your contribution. Your IP address is recorded in the event of a complaint.
Name *
Email *
(required, but will not display)
Comment *
Please enter in the numbers in the box left.
You are about to submit your comment. Is it:
  • Professional
  • In your own name or pseudonym, not impersonating someone else
  • Free from rude language
  • Free from advertising
  • If you prefer not to post but are still keen to get your viewpoint across, you can always e-mail the editor.
  • 27 Aug | Frazer Jones - Global HR Search and Recruitment | Singapore
    HR payroll expert required to manage and lead a team in accuracy and compliance of payroll benefits programs and practice
    27 Aug | Frazer Jones Global HR Search & Recruitment | Singapore
    Manage all HR, operational and administrative matters for the office
    25 Aug | Frazer Jones Global HR Search & Recruitment | Singapore
    The HR Associate will support the Regional HR Director on a range of HR matters in the region.
    Itron: A five-prong guideline to employee retention
    Jayesh Menon, Regional HR Leader and Director, Asia Pacific, Itron, shares how companies should formulate a HR blueprint to tackle organisational retention
    Innovation in engagement, motivation and retention of talent
    GSK: Talent management – a serious business imperative
    Talent Management for Sustainability: Default or Design?
    Performance Leadership Pte Ltd | info@performance.sg
    Lunch, Learn and Bond with your teams, all within 1 hour! Choose from a variety of light-hearted, interesting or thought-provoking topics that appeal ...
    Performance Recognition Pte Ltd | info@performance.sg
    A monthly business incubator where leaders grow their skills, exchange ideas and share best practices.
    Organisational Development Concepts | enquiries@odctraining.com.sg
    Companies are fighting to hire talents. How do you select the right candidates with the knowledge, skill and attitude that the company is looking for?