Progress of Industry Transformation Maps05 Apr 2021
Parliamentary Question by Mr Patrick Tay Teck Guan:
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance (a) whether he can provide an update on the progress of the 23 Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) since their announcement in 2016; (b) whether the objectives set out for each of the clusters/industries have been achieved; and (c) whether the Government is planning for ITM 2.0 and, if so, when will it be rolled out given the current economic downturn and disruption.
Parliamentary Question by Mr Sharael Taha:
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance (a) what is the progress of the Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs); (b) whether the Ministry plans to make changes to the ITMs in view of the impact of COVID-19 on the economy; (c) whether the impact of workplace transformation has been considered in each of the 23 ITMs; and (d) whether the ITMs can specifically address the upskilling, re-training and hiring of mature workers, workers with disabilities and other vulnerable groups of workers for an inclusive transformation of the industries.
Parliamentary Reply by Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat:
We have seen encouraging progress since embarking on our ITM journey in 2016. Singapore’s overall labour productivity, as measured by real value-added per actual hours worked, rose by 2.7% per annum from 2016 to 2019, up from 2.2% in the preceding three years. Real median income from work of full-time Singaporeans (including employer CPF contributions) rose by 3.7% per annum from 2016 to 2019, higher than the 3.2% per annum growth in the preceding three years. Up to 2019, our ITMs have been progressing well, with most of them on track to meet their targets.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has disrupted this progress. Some of our ITM sectors, such as Air Transport, Hotels, and Retail were badly hit, and will take time to recover. That is why as part of the series of Budget measures, we provided special support for the harder hit sectors, to help these stay resilient. Beyond the immediate impact, COVID-19 has also accelerated longer-term structural trends such as digital transformation, a review of globalisation, and a focus on sustainability.
We must therefore build on the head-start and progress that we had made in the last 5 years, and to refresh our ITMs to meet the accelerated changes brought about by COVID-19. For each of the 23 ITM sectors, we will update our sectoral strategies to create and seize opportunities through digitalisation, innovation, internationalisation, upskilling of workers and job redesign, with the aim of uplifting the productivity and wages of our workers, and creating good jobs for Singaporeans. We target to complete this by next year. Our ITM refresh is complemented by the work of the Emerging Stronger Taskforce and the Singapore Together Alliances for Action, which have served as pathfinders to help us seize immediate opportunities, even amidst COVID-19.
Ultimately, we transform our economy for the benefit of our people. Our ITMs chart the path forward for each sector to be competitive, so that our people can access good jobs and opportunities which improve their lives. Jobs and Skills is therefore a key pillar of each ITM, and is supported through initiatives such as the Next Bound of SkillsFuture. We pay specific attention to mid-career workers, to help them stay employable and access good jobs. Our tripartite partners have also been working closely together to ensure that business transformation is tied to workplace and workforce transformation. For example, Workforce Singapore has worked with government agencies and industry to develop Jobs Transformation Maps to provide detailed insights on the impact of technology and automation on the industry and workforce. The Labour Movement has also been working with businesses to establish Company Training Committees, to help workers upgrade while supporting their companies’ transformation. More immediately, the Labour Movement’s Job Security Council is working hard to match and place workers, minimise retrenchments, and shorten unemployment periods for our workers. In this way, we achieve inclusive growth which uplifts our workers.
The Government is acutely aware of the plight of vulnerable workers who have been hardest hit by the pandemic. We have therefore been providing additional support for these workers who require more time and effort to reskill, upskill, and re-join the workforce. One example is the Jobs Growth Incentive, to which we have allocated another $5.2 billion during the recent Budget to extend the hiring window by seven months. A higher level of support is provided to employers who hire mature local workers, persons with disabilities (or PwDs), and ex-offenders. To help our senior workers, the Senior Employment Credit provides wage offsets for businesses that employ Singaporean workers aged 55 and above. We have also introduced the Enabling Employment Credit, which provides employers with wage offsets for each Singaporean PwD earning below $4,000 per month that they employ. We will continue to build on these schemes to ensure that no one is left behind, as we work with our tripartite partners to emerge stronger from the pandemic.