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How Singapore budget 2019 may impact hiring

A few days ago, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat delivered the Budget Statement for the 2019 financial year, detailing the numerous plans that the Singaporean government has formulated in order to keep the economy robust and vibrant. With enterprise-building, sustainability and technological amplification at the forefront of professional and economic endeavours, there is no doubt that hiring activities across industries will be impacted – here is how:

Singapore as a lodestar of technological innovation

To bolster the country’s existing reputation as a tech hub and ensure that the IT industry is able to both innovate and hire local talent, the government plans to invest SG$19 billion into this sector. Apart from this, institutes of higher learning such as Temasek Polytechnic and Nanyang Technological University will be launching centres of innovations to focus on specific sub-sectors such as food supply and energy respectively. Additionally, local and overseas internship programmes will be available for students who wish to enter the tech industry.

With several capacity-enhancing initiatives to invigorate Singaporean workers and prime them to thrive in the face of a mercurial technological landscape, companies can be expected to continuously hire new talent, perhaps even augmenting their demand according to new tech initiatives and plans. With the announcement of new Public Conversion Programmes dedicated to blockchain and software, specialising in this area would also be in high demand.

Empowering the local workforce with an extensive range of skills

Given Singapore’s high life expectancy rates and the fact that people now tend to retire later in life, the government has said that it is committed to investing in both current and future working populations so that they can hone their existing skills and learn new ones that will benefit them in the future. During the delivery of the Budget, the government requested firms provide better employee training programs and upskilling services, and also asked that unions spearhead major reskilling efforts. On their part, employees and workers would also need to be receptive to new training.

Looking forward, companies can be expected to be focused on their hiring, with a preference for local talent who are adaptable and open-minded to continuous, lifelong learning.

Unwavering support extended to SMEs

The government’s plans to boost small and medium enterprises (SMEs) involves assistance in the form of programmes that emphasise growth and innovation, improved financial schemes, tailored digital solutions and automation. For those SMEs displaying potential in terms of complex services and expansion, the Economic Development Board is able to provide assistance adapted specifically to suit their needs.

With additional resources available at hand, one can expect SMEs – especially those looking to scale up aggressively and expand operations – to hire highly skilled personnel.

All in all — hiring in the tech and digital field will continue its steady reign, local employers will receive numerous opportunities to upskill themselves as long as are amenable to the idea of lifelong learning, foreign employees whose skills are found to be compatible with those of the local workforce will be preferred, and SMEs will be provided with ample assistance with regards to funding, expansion and growth.

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