Under the Fair Consideration Framework introduced in Singapore last year, Singaporeans should be considered before foreign workers for PME (professionals, managers and executives) job openings.
MOM will now scrutinise "'double weak' firms: weak in Singapore Core and weak in commitment to fair consideration in hiring and developing Singaporeans", said Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say.
Out of 150 firms investigated over the year, 38 have been put on a watchlist for "closer scrutiny" and 100 others will have "further engagement", Lim said.
Applications for employment passes for foreigners will be more closely scrutinised for those firms on the watchlist. The employers will be asked for information on the number of Singaporeans who applied and were interviewed for the post, and whether existing Singaporean employees have been considered, Lim said.
MOM will also encourage these firms to improve training, development and upgrading of Singaporean staff, he said.
"Our purpose is to build a stronger core of Singaporean PMEs in all major sectors of the economy. We believe this will benefit our people with better job and career opportunities. It will also benefit firms here with a more sustainable pool of talent as they restructure for future growth," Lim said.
"Human capital is our most precious resource. I believe a majority of the 'double weak' firms will respond constructively to our call to strengthen their Singaporean core. I also believe that many of our local PMEs are willing to up-skill and re-skill, and are open to try out some of these jobs and careers we are creating for them," he said.