Singapore

Most low-wage workers have post-secondary or lower education: Zaqy

There are about 30,000 Singaporean low-wage workers, and the highest educational qualification for four in five of them is post-secondary level or lower, said Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad.

For about half of these workers - largely employed in roles such as office clerks, food and beverage workers, cleaners, and shop salesmen - the highest education is at secondary level or lower, he said.

More than one-third of the 30,000 low-wage Singaporean workers are aged 50 and above, and this reflects a profile of workers who have less access to higher education and could be at a higher risk of being unemployed, he said.

Mr Zaqy was responding in Parliament yesterday to a question from Mr Liang Eng Hwa (Bukit Panjang), who asked for the profiles of workers who earn no more than $1,300 monthly.

One-third of this group of workers are youth aged between 15 and 24 who are in "vacation jobs", Mr Zaqy said.

Earlier, he said there are about 30,000 full-time employees and 22,000 self-employed individuals who receive less than $1,300 a month, in response to a question filed by Associate Professor Jamus Lim (Sengkang GRC).

As for what is being done to help this group of workers, Mr Zaqy said that besides receiving Workfare Income Supplement payouts, they will continue to be supported by the Workfare Skills Support Scheme.

This enables them to upskill and earn higher wages, he said, adding that other schemes are also available for their daily and medical needs. - THE STRAITS TIMES

Employment