SINGAPORE — Singapore will undergo key shifts in policy across various aspects of society following a 16-month long feedback exercise that canvassed the views of over 200,000 Singaporeans and stakeholders.
2. RESPECT AND REWARD EVERY JOB
To meet Singaporeans’ growing desire for meaningful jobs and to provide opportunities to develop mastery of skills.
More recognition and better pay for those in “hands” and “heart jobs” to further narrow the wage gapInstitute of Technical Education (ITE) graduates will get help with the cost of further educationA new support scheme will be implemented to help retrenched workers in the lower and middle-income groups get back on their feetThe Government will work with employers and industry associations to nurture local talent to become specialists and leaders in their fields — especially for top regional roles in multi-national corporationsSingaporeans will also be encouraged to venture overseas as part of their career development, with the Government helping to integrate their children smoothly back into local schools
Communities and employers can better appreciate and fairly remunerate those doing ‘hands’ and ‘heart’ jobs, which include professional tradespeople like electricians and plumbers, as well as those in the healthcare and aged care sectors
3. SUPPORT FAMILIES THROUGH EVERY LIFE STAGE
The aim is to give assurances to families, helping them balance work and family commitments, including supporting them in raising their children while caring for elderly parents.
Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats will remain affordable, fair and with a good social mix through the new classification framework for HDB Build-To-Order projects (Standard, Plus and Prime)Further increases to paid parental leave will be explored and centre-based infant care places and childminding service options will be expandedSingaporeans’ mental well-being and work-life harmony will be supported through a set of tripartite guidelines on flexible work arrangements to be released in 2024, and through the National Mental Health and Well-being StrategySupport for caregivers will be enhanced by increasing the affordability of early intervention, education, and care services for families with children with developmental and special educational needs
Employers and co-workers can adopt more supportive and flexible working practices for families and caregivers, and create a workplace culture that promotes work-life harmony
4. ENABLE SENIORS TO AGE WELL
Singapore’s healthcare system will undergo a “major paradigm shift” — to not just focus on treating illnesses but to do more in improving health. This means re-deploying resources towards more primary and preventive care in the community and promoting healthier lifestyles.
More Active Ageing Centres will be launched and its operations revamped to encourage active ageing in the communityMore senior friendly features will be incorporated into Singapore’s living environment, with more housing options to be integrated with care provisionsThe Silver Support scheme, Matched Retirement Savings scheme, and the Majulah Package will be enhanced
Family members, friends and befrienders can actively encourage seniors to improve their health, stay active and be socially connectedSeniors can do their part in taking responsibility for their own health and well-being by making healthy lifestyle choices, attending regular medical screenings, and participating actively in the community
5. EMPOWER VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS
Lower-income families will get help to make sustained progress, with an additional focus on closing early developmental gaps for children from these families. The aim is also to make society more inclusive for persons with disabilities.
Work with community partners to provide additional support to empower these families to sustain progress in improving their life circumstancesFewer children from lower-income families, particularly those aged three to four, are enrolled in and attend preschool regularly. The Government will make preschool education more affordable and accessible in order to reduce the risk of their development lagging upon their enrolment in primary schoolStrengthen support for persons with disabilities’ lifelong learning and create more inclusive environments where they can participate and live independently
Businesses and communities can contribute financial resources, volunteer their time, or offer other support in-kind to help lower-income familiesSingaporeans should also play their part in building a fairer and more inclusive society for disabled persons
6. INVEST IN THE FUTURE
Optimising Singapore’s limited land and securing a climate-resilient future.
Investments in infrastructure will be made to meet future water demand amidst the effects of climate changeFood import sources will be diversified and local production in the agri-food industry will be scaled up
Singaporeans can do their part to adopt more environmentally sustainable practices, like actively conserving water and supporting the local agri-food industry by purchasing more local produce
7. DO OUR PART AS ONE UNITED PEOPLE
Nurture a stronger culture of giving and strengthen the country’s multiracialism and national identity.
Better connect donors and volunteers to local community needsMore interactions between different groups of Singaporeans will be encouragedMore avenues for civic participation will be created, and more ground-up efforts to shape and improve communities will be supportedThe Singapore Government Partnerships Office (SGPO) will be established to facilitate interactions between contributing citizens and relevant government agencies
Businesses can continually invest in their employees and staff, and provide a work environment that enables them to thriveSingaporeans can take conscious and deliberate steps towards appreciating, understanding and valuing other cultures and traditions, while communities can do their part to promote interactions between different groups of Singaporeans
The Forward SG workgroup added that the Government’s commitment to engage citizens on its policies and programmes will continue beyond the publication of the report.
The public can learn more about the Forward SG initiatives and contribute their own ideas at the Forward Singapore Festival — the first of which will be held at Gardens by the Bay from Oct 27 to 29.
Thereafter, it will make its way into various locations till Jan 28 next year.