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Jobs are at the heart of economic transformation: PM Lee

CREATING the right jobs for workers is at the heart of Singapore's economic transformation, even though this will mean many changes, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his May Day Message.

"This government remains on the side of workers," he said. "At the heart of our economic transformation is the need to ensure that Singapore continues to offer the right jobs, our workers have the right skills, and there is a good match between the two."

And the key to achieving this goal is tripartism, according to Mr Lee. "Employers must envision the future of their business and work with government and the labour movement to redesign jobs and develop their talent with this vision in mind," he said.

Workers should also actively work with employers to upgrade their skills and stay relevant for the future, Mr Lee urged.

He said that Singapore must transform its economy fast because of its ageing population and tight labour market as well as external challenges such as slowing growth in China and stronger global competitions.

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"For our economy to stay competitive, we must become more productive, making better use of our limited land and labour to meet Singapore's needs," Mr Lee said. "We must also be innovative and adaptable, constantly developing new and better ways of doing things."

He is confident that Singapore can do it. "This is not the first time that we have had to reinvent our economy. We succeeded in the past because government, employers and the labour movement came together to realise the shared vision of improving lives for all."

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