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THE new Manpower Minister will not relax the foreign-worker policy to let in more foreign workers, or reduce the foreign-worker levy.
Instead, Lim Swee Say wants businesses to look beyond the current tight labour market that's plaguing them and work with the government and unions to focus on making the economy manpower-lean, boosting the Singapore core in the workforce and upgrading the existing pool of foreign workers.
The result would be a more competitive economy that's good for business looking for higher profits and good for Singaporeans seeking a fruitful career path, Mr Lim said in a media interview on Tuesday.
The former chief of the labour movement, who came into his new job on May 4, said he has got many of the business leaders he met in the past month "aligned" in seeing the challenges ahead - and his ministry is already looking into changes to support the move to a manpower-lean economy, to strengthen the Singapore core and to upskill the foreign workers.