Authorities laud “Foreign Worker Ambassadors”

Three receive awards for efforts in providing assistance to fellow workers

Authorities laud “Foreign Worker Ambassadors”
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) recognised some 300 Foreign Worker (FW) Ambassadors during a dinner last Saturday also attended by employers and dormitory operators. Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say presented “Star Ambassador Awards” to three FW Ambassadors, in honour of their dedication and efforts in providing assistance to fellow workers.

Under the FW Ambassador Programme, FWs trained by the ministry provide peer-to-peer help and advice on employment-related matters as a “first line of assistance” to their fellow FWs. They also direct their fellow workers in need of assistance to the ministry.

“MOM is appreciative of the FW Ambassadors.  As we are unable to be on the ground 24/7, these ambassadors are literally our eyes and ears, and our mouthpieces. We encourage more to come forward to join the Programme, especially those who have received help from the Ambassadors.  Pay it forward, and create a positive peer-to-peer influence in the community,” said Kevin Teoh, Divisional Director at MOM’s Foreign Manpower Management Division.

Last March, Lim said the government is prepared to “consider” short term-flexibility for firms on its foreign worker policy, provided they have a clear plan to be more attractive to local talent.

"In the process, if you need to have some short-term flexibility on our foreign worker policy, we are prepared to consider – on the condition there is a clear action plan to upgrade, to transform,"  said Lim on Wednesday as quoted by the Straits Times. He was speaking before senior management and HR representatives in a post-Budget dialogue session.

"There's no disagreement that we need to break the manpower bottleneck. Based on your feedback, I think we are on the right track.”

Foreign employment contracted by 2,500 last year, continuing a downward trend since 2011, according to MOM figures. This was mainly due to the decrease in Work Permit Holders (-7,900) in the Manufacturing, Marine and Construction sectors.

Local employees occupy two-thirds of the country’s workforce. The Government wants to see foreign employees complement the local workforce rather than compete with it.

Related stories:
MOM cracks down on employers who unlawfully hire foreign workers
Government to cut foreign workers in key sector

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