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Title: Manpower policy under industrial restructuring : Singapore in the 1980s
Author: Chen, Geraldine Yee Fong
ISNI:       0000 0001 3532 1881
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1991
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In the short run, the size of a labour force is strongly influenced by, participation rates. In the longer term it is governed by the rate of population growth through natural increase and immigration and by a country's investment in its human resources that raises the productivity of the workforce. The challenges facing Singapore as it tries to overcome its manpower constraints will involve tradeoffs. For instance, raising the female labour force participation rate may exact higher costs in the long run by preventing the achievement of replacement level fertility rates, thereby constraining the rate of future population growth. On the other hand, accepting stable participation rates, ceteris paribus, would mean a continued sizable foreign worker presence in Singapore. Government intervention to increase the provision of childcare facilities may help to raise both the female participation rate in the short run as well as long run fertility levels. Decisions will have to made with respect to the type of education best suited to future growth. At present a technical and vocationally-oriented curriculum is favoured to support what is still a primarily manufacturing-based development strategy. Cost-benefit calculations based on starting salary data suggest that, while the returns to middle-level skilled worker technical training are higher than those to general tertiary training, the payoff to tertiary finance and business-related courses are greater than the payoff to engineering. One factor that will impinge significantly on the scope of policy is the incidence of international mobility. The large scale influx of foreign workers was one factor that spurred the restructuring programme. Any attempt to restrict individual mobility within the economy may provoke a flood of emigration among the well educated. This is a factor that has made general skills and training a public good requiring public subsidy and an area where the government will continue to exert its influence in resource allocation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Labour studies