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Productivity up, more jobseekers helped: public sector report

21 Dec 2018
Janice Heng

PRODUCTIVITY is up, more jobseekers are landing jobs, and businesses now enjoy more convenience, said the Ministry of Finance in the latest Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review on Thursday.

The stock-take of the public sector's work, released every two years, gave a round-up of previously-released figures in areas such as the economy and welfare spending.

On the productivity front, growth in real value-added per hour worked rose to 4.5 per cent in 2017 from 1.4 per cent in 2013. Over the same period, growth in real value-added per worker rose to 3.8 per cent from 1 per cent previously.

Both households at the 20th percentile and those at the median income level have seen monthly incomes rise by about 20 per cent in real terms since 2013.

In industry, all 23 Industry Transformation Maps across six clusters have been launched, with the next phase of transformation looking at synergies within industry clusters.

Workers are also benefiting. Following the launch of SkillsFuture Credit in January 2016, more than 285,000 eligible Singaporeans have tapped this as of end-2017.

More than 25,000 jobseekers secured jobs through the Adapt and Grow initiative in 2017, about 20 per cent more than in 2016.

And almost 3,800 professionals, managers, executives and technicians have received training and wage support to move into new occupations or sectors under the Professional Conversion Programmes.

Doing business with the government has gotten easier with the LicenceOne portal launched in 2016, which simplifies the application process for 114 licences from 20 agencies. Firms need only fill out a form once to apply for multiple licences.

Similarly, the Business Grants Portal launched in 2018 lets firms apply for six grants from five agencies.

The government is also helping firms adopt technology. For instance, more than 1,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have adopted digital solutions under the SMEs Go Digital initiative.

The report also highlighted greater support in areas such as healthcare and social services. Government healthcare expenditure more than doubled from S$3.9 billion in FY2011 to an estimated S$10.2 billion in FY2018.

In line with the ageing population the number of long-term assistance recipients aged 65 years and older rose from 2,844 in FY2013 to 3,500 in FY2017.

And since 2007, some S$5.5 billion has been paid out to about 830,000 lower-wage Singaporeans under the Workfare Income Supplement Scheme.