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NTUC to Play a Role in Future Employment Pass Applications

This could see the congress level the playing field for local PMEs.
Model ID: 23e5c4a8-0ba1-4960-b3b4-916263645a49 Sitecore Context Id: 0e2669b0-1d43-40d6-b66b-772f062903d5;

NTUC is set to play a new role which could see it help level the playing field for local PMEs vis-a-vis foreign talent.

Under the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS), NTUC will have the discretion to award 10 bonus points to employers under the Strategic Economic Priorities Bonus (Criterion C6).

NTUC issued a statement on the development on 1 March 2023, shortly after the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) delivered its Committee of Supply (COS) debate in Parliament.


COMPASS, which was first introduced by Manpower Minister Tan See Leng at the 2022 COS debate, is a points-based system in which enables employers to select high-quality foreign professionals, while improving workforce diversity and building a strong local core.

The points are divided into six criteria, namely, Salary (C1), Qualifications (C2), Diversity (C3), Support for Local Employment (C4), Skills Bonus (C5) and Strategic Economic Priorities Bonus (C6).

NTUC said it will recognise and award points to progressive firms that are committed to work with the Labour Movement to strengthen local workforce development.

This could either be through the formation of Company Training Committees (CTCs) with the congress’ affiliated unions, or participation in Government-supported programmes.

A Level Playing Field for Local PMEs

NTUC added that Singapore must remain open and embrace foreign talent to ensure the local workforce, companies and economy remain competitive.

However, it also wants to ensure that local PMEs have a level playing field vis-à-vis foreign talents, and that local PMEs remain employable and competitive in the labour force.

NTUC said: “The COMPASS would address ground feedback and concerns from local PMEs, obtained by the Joint NTUC-SNEF PME Taskforce in 2021, that they want fair opportunities when seeking employment.”

NTUC will provide more details on how it will award the points later, before the implementation of COMPASS in September.