So what's in it for us PMEs?
I met up with my girlfriends last night and more than half the conversation was centered around 1) our jobs 2) other people's jobs i.e. gossiping about people we know lol and 3) the shitty economy.
A little background about us: We're junior college mates so that makes us 30 this year. Amongst the 5 of us, one is in the civil sector, three in banking / finance and me erm, you know what I do haha.
Most of the people we know are either in oil brokerage, investment banking, trading and the likes... and all we talked about last night was how bad the oil & gas industry is doing. That, and the scary shut down of banks happening right now as we speak:
- ANZ exits SME business in five Asian countries, cuts around 100 jobs
- Standard Chartered job cuts: Singapore affected
- Barclays lets go some Singapore staff as bank said to cut over 1,000 jobs worldwide
- Goldman Said to Cut Singapore Investment Bank Jobs by 30%
- RBS axing S'pore jobs in overhaul of operations - which my girlfriend was affected by, by the way. She managed to get a new job in another bank fortunately.
And this is ONLY in the banking sector... we all know how interdependent our economies are and we are just waiting for things to get really bad.
(In other news, I watched this movie the other day and omg I LOVED IT. Based more or less on facts, The Big Short explains the financial crisis of 2007–2008 (yah that one that Lehman Brothers went bust remember???) which was triggered by the buildup of the housing market and the economic bubble. You should seriously watch it to understand what happened / is happening and cause, RYAN GOSLING :heart_eyes: The movie also ended on a foreboding note that a financial shitstorm is brewing...which probably explains why the upcoming Singapore Budget 2016 will be “particularly prudent”.)
So anyway, with all these coffeeshop talk of a looming economic crisis, I met up with Patrick Tay the other day to talk about the Budget happening on 24 March.
Note to self: Need to stop scheduling laser appointments before meeting MP
So we spoke about what NTUC has recommended for the upcoming budget and in particular, what does the Labour Movement (LM) hope to do for our PMEs i.e. my friends and I :joy:
In a nutshell, seeing that the global economy is not going to be good (ahem, severe understatement here) and coupled with structural and cyclical issues, the LM is concerned about how we can maintain our competitiveness in both the local and overseas markets and the acquisition of new skills for the future jobs that we aspire to take on.
Basically, their recommendations for Budget 2016 are focused on:
- Strengthening the Singaporean Core
- Improving Productivity
- Enhancing Training and Skills Upgrading
- Improving Retirement Adequacy
I won't go into all the details lah, you guys can read the news for that but interestingly, I found out that these recommendations they put out are not any-old-how suka suka I feel like saying I say type.
Facebook reminded me today that it's been one year since I started learning more about NTUC and the work they do, and cross my heart (heck, I'm not even an employee of the organisation) but I really see how they have reached out to the unions, workers and various people from all walks of life to gather feedback. Like for this budget, they actually have a youth pre-budget dialogue that started since November last year to hear what younger Singaporeans (again, not NTUC staff ah!) have to propose and their wishlist for budget and these feedback are then seriously taken into consideration and brought up to Minister Heng.
More PMEs looking for help in employment: NTUC (Link)
Not new to working / helping PMES, here's what the LM brought up for the young/ future workers in the upcoming budget,
(By the way, if you're like me wondering what's the definition of a PME haha, according to MOM...)
1. The LM urges the Government to do more to support our younger workers so they can capitalise on future job opportunities
This includes those currently in school and ideas include an integrated career counselling system so that students receive preparation in schools and then to their workplaces where they can stay constantly relevant to the global marketplace of jobs.
Honestly, this sounds pretty neat to me because when I was in school, I didn't know much about the career options available to me beyond the standard doctor, lawyer, pilot, teacher... EVERYBODY wanted to be a banker because that's where the $$$$ at (though now not so anymore these days) and it's for a fact that you see where my girls ended up at haha... I believe starting career counselling from tertiary or even secondary school - if done right- could help many of us have some sense of direction of what we want to do with our lives. (Which again, to be honest, if given a choice I wouldn't want to be doing what I'm doing now haha. I have an upcoming post about how I kinda 'regret' doing my own thing.... which in the wise words of Barney Stinson, you'll have to wait for it. Lol.)
2. The LM also calls on the Government to strengthen the Singaporean Core
Not just lip service, this includes - which in black and white went up to the Ministry of Finance -:
Reviewing the Employment Pass criteria with a view to meeting the variegated needs of the industries whilst incentivising industries towards building a strong Singaporean Core
Companies which have shown commitment towards building a Singaporean Core should be differentiated from those who have not
At the same time, the Government should tighten enforcement on companies that show no intent to develop a Singapore core of workers.
Well, we all know how certain industries (cough, IT) have more foreigners than others and to be honest, I'm not sure how exactly are we going to manage this delicate balance but I was there at that tea session and truth is, there was no sweeping of facts under the carpet, Patrick said things for what they are and called a spade a spade. And I saw that conviction in them in wanting to help Singaporeans workers (eh really, NTUC is NOT the government lah) so well, I sincerely wish them all the best in tackling this continuous task!
One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind :muscle: