Thursday, March 16, 2017

Local business: Solving a problem maestro Yeo could not.

An opinion piece by the chairman of the Singapore Business Federation. 

Our local businesses are addicted to asking for help all the time. They have had too much leverage as employers for too long. Instead of enabling our future they are hobbling it when they get help to entrench old habits which must eventually lead to sad endings.

If weak businesses with no future are not cleared out, new businesses of tomorrow cannot surface. What is stopping us thus far is the fear of rising unemployment if we let Darwinian adapt or die produce the next generation of businesses. 

So we make workers skills more fluid, adaptable and less dependent on employers as much as possible. It is a slow and painful process which is quite rare in the world. The buzz word is being "future ready" but it can be very meaningful if we are serious minded about it. 

I saw this the day before.

Many SMEs are forced by their small size, lack of critical mass to be fighting fire and chasing sales continuously. If the environment is good they do well and if the trend last long enough perhaps some will grow big and finally take off. It is the in-between that is a problem. They have achieved medium size, hire quite a few workers and struggling to maintain sales and margins. You don't want them to fail but neither could they grow. In aggregate they caused productivity numbers to look bad and their workers also cannot hope to do well over time. The longer they remain with such firms they less valuable they become and harder to retrain later. 

Once we are able to make more workers less dependent on the companies they work for by getting them future ready, we are ready to break the back of this yoke, a problem Philip Yeo could not solve. 

Update: March 18 1:50pm

The good professor hit the nail on its head (ST yesterday). Local businesses here never wanted to change or adapt if they can help it, always asking the government to help them preserve the status quo or else workers lose their jobs. 

Update: March 18 :10:10pm

Now I am hearing the same shrill and familiar message from the SMEs club.

and I agree with these people comments.

Really, how long is this going to last. It is an endless cycle of these SMEs using the tax payer as a crutch. Time we let some of them go to the wall and retrain the people displaced. This is also trying to release their employees from a "poverty trap". 

No comments:

Post a Comment