Ministry of Manpower
Feature | Organisation

To Build a Great Workforce

Ministry of Manpower
A key priority of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has always been to ensure that Singaporeans have better jobs and a secure retirement. The team at MOM plays a critical role in implementing policies that are geared towards building a productive workforce.

Singapore needs a world-class workforce to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive global landscape. To develop strong competencies in our workforce, the team at MOM works hard to formulate comprehensive strategies and policies to support manpower development amongst the local working population.

Hairul Khafiz Ramli and Katharine Ong are two individuals with a passion for public service. They share with us about their enriching experiences at MOM.

What led you to join MOM?

 Hairul Khafiz Ramli:  Prior to joining MOM, I worked in a technology start-up for two years. When I came across a job opportunity at MOM, I knew it was the perfect role for me. Working in MOM's Occupational Safety & Health Division would allow me to pursue my passion for technology as well as offer me a channel to serve the community.

 Katharine Ong:   I find it meaningful to serve in the public sector. I also appreciate the work-life harmony initiatives such as Flexible Work Arrangements offered by MOM. It affords me more time to pursue my personal priorities in life.

Tell us about your job scope.

 Hairul:  As the Senior Manager in the Occupational Safety & Health Division, my work focuses on three essential elements – identify, test and implement. I research new technologies to strategically implement them in order to improve our current work processes.

 Katharine:  I am the Principal Manager in the Foreign Manpower Management Division, which facilitates the well-being of foreign workers during their work here in Singapore. My role is to lead my team in providing relevant analytical support and research aligned to policies and campaigns.

Share one challenge you face at work. How do you overcome it?

 Hairul:   Introducing change can be truly challenging. I need to convince various stakeholders, from junior executives to top level managers, of my plans. It gets demoralising when I face rejection. Therefore, staying optimistic and taking each failure as a learning opportunity is essential.

 Katharine:  Having to continuously push new boundaries is no easy feat. I often have to ask myself questions like "What lessons have I gained from this?" or "What improvements can I make in the future?". I find this to be an effective method to regain a positive mindset.

Hairul Khafiz Ramli

Hairul Khafiz Ramli
Senior Manager, Occupational Safety & Health Division

"At times when work gets overwhelming, we are always ready to help one another out."

Share one memorable experience you have had and what you enjoy most about work.

 Hairul:  In 2016, I was presented the Silver Award under MOM's Innovation Champion category. I have also received the Bronze Award under the Public Service 21 Excellence Awards 2016. It is a great honour and I am thankful that my efforts are recognised.

I really like how employees are valued at MOM. It is especially great that senior management puts in effort to interact with different employees.

 Katharine:  One memorable episode was when I participated in the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) action during the 2003 SARS outbreak. It was heart-warming to witness different ministries come together to serve the community.

At work, it is the people that brings me joy. I have met great colleagues at MOM. In fact, we have become close friends. We confide in one another and grow together at work.

How has MOM helped you in your professional development?

 Hairul:  I have been given the opportunity to spearhead large-scale projects. These experiences have equipped me well with leadership skills.

 Katharine:  Through the array of development opportunities offered at MOM, I have gained new competencies in the field of analytics – an area I have always been interested in!

Katharine Ong<

Katharine Ong
Principal Manager, Foreign Manpower Management Division

"It is important to be imaginative as we constantly seek to push new boundaries at MOM!"

What qualities should MOM officers possess and why are they important?

 Hairul:  Being people-centred and having a passion for progress is crucial. To serve the community well, MOM officers need to first understand problems from their perspective.

 Katharine:  It is important to be imaginative as we constantly seek to push new boundaries at MOM!

Share with us your thoughts on the culture at MOM.

 Hairul:  Strong teamwork pretty much defines the team. At times when work gets overwhelming, we are always ready to help one another out.

 Katharine:  Our culture places great emphasis on continuous learning. Therefore, we actively seek out experts and attend seminars to gain new insights.

Any advice for fresh graduates considering to join MOM?

 Hairul:  If you are passionate about making a difference to Singapore's workforce, MOM is the right place for you.

 Katharine:  Ask yourself what you can do for MOM and what MOM can do for you. This will help you understand your purpose and passion, and if it is aligned to the employer of your choice.