In a national broadcast, Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Chan Chun Sing, spoke about how the Government will create opportunities for all to improve their lives at every stage of their careers. COVID-19 had hit Singapore particularly hard, resulting in the closure of many small businesses and the loss of countless jobs. It doesn’t help that global travel restrictions have also led to significant losses for the trade dependent city-state.

Despite the commitment of a hundred billion dollars to help curb the effects of COVID-19, Chan stresses that Singapore is still not immune to the fallout of the coronavirus; stating that personal income is already falling and jobs are already being lost. Instead, Chan encouraged the population to be flexible and adaptable as the nation heads into the recovery period.

“This Government has committed almost a hundred billion dollars to care for every Singaporean, help save businesses and jobs. But it is not just about spending money. What is even more important is our ability to plan, adapt and execute,” he said.

As for immediate priorities, Chan said that the government will be creating one hundred thousand jobs and training opportunities in the coming year. The range of jobs will include healthcare, early childhood education, transport, ICT and financial services. 100,000 jobs – that is three times the usual annual number for the city-state.

Singapore will also increase the capacity of training institutions to equip more workers, especially mid-career ones, with new skills required for the new economy. The government will set up job centres in every town to match displaced workers to new jobs.

Chan also cautioned the public regarding how things will not be “business as usual” for some time. Some businesses will need to change their business models and Chan has reaffirmed his ministries efforts to help redesign operations and serve new markets.

“We will support you to hire and train graduates and mid-career workers in advance. Logistics and professional services are examples of sectors where we are starting to do this,” said Chan.

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