Think for a moment. If we have an all-Singaporean workforce, today, more Singaporeans would be jobless.
Foreign workers have always acted as a buffer against local retrenchment in a recession. This was the case during the global financial crisis in 2009. Consequently, unemployment among Singaporeans was kept lower than it would have been.
In the RWS retrenchment exercise last month, nearly 2000 workers were laid off. Foreigners bore the brunt in this exercise.
The Singaporean core, which stood at 66% before the retrenchment exercise, rose to 75% after the layoffs.
The retrenchment exercise took place after the integrated resort operator had made efforts to cut costs and management salaries.
“In all instances where a foreign employee and local employee had the same performance grade, preference was given to the local to be retained. In fact, for each category of workers, the foreign employee had to have a higher performance rating compared to the local employee, in order not to be retrenched,” said MOM.
The Taskforce for Responsible Retrenchment and Employment Facilitation is working with Attractions, Resorts and Entertainment Union (AREU) to provide outplacement and job search support for all affected RWS employees.
The job search support will include a series of physical and virtual career advisory sessions and job search preparatory workshops offered by Workforce Singapore and NTUC’s e2i over four weeks.
Through the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package and NTUC’s Jobs Security Council, the affected employees will also be provided with job matching services, training opportunities and interview sessions to help them apply for and transit to new jobs.