A country cannot progress if its economy is not developing. An economy cannot develop if it does not have a dynamic and resilient workforce. In the years soon after independence, the economic condition of Singapore was very weak and there was rampant unemployment. In order to secure employment opportunities and achieve economic growth, steady efforts were made to achieve a successful turnabout with high-scale industrialization. This led to the Labour Movement in the 1960s that resulted in the modern Tripartism model offered by the NTUC (National Trades Union Congress).
Employment relations, in light of the new spirit of tripartism, strived to achieve industrial justice with peace. The emphasis was on addressing the employment challenges with an aim to achieve the mutual benefit of employers, workers, and society. The employers balanced profitability and sustainable business development with equitable wages for the workers, providing skills training and greater job opportunities. This led to the socio-economic progress of the entire nation with a higher standard of living for all people.
The employment relations in Singapore are illustrated with the NTUC as an intermediary or rather the governing body. They pertain to issues such as job re-creation, increasing the effective retirement age, skills training and upgrading of the workforce. The last one is especially relevant for employees made redundant due to the relocation of labour-intensive companies to other countries in favour of cheap labour. The employment of foreign workers and the levies and quotas imposed on them to facilitate the local workforce is a strong counter-measure. The promotion of progressive and ethical employment practices, along with a flexible wage system, are also critical employment relations issues in Singapore.