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Building Bridges: Improving the Lives and Livelihoods of Migrant Construction Workers in Singapore

The Majurity Trust (Client), The Majurity Trust (Funder), Healthserve (Partner), Blackbox Research (Partner)

This research project sought to understand the attitudes of the Singaporean public towards migrant workers, as well as Singaporean stakeholders' points of view, and the situation faced by similar migrant workers in other countries.

A rapid scoping review of policies governing employment and living conditions for construction workers - namely in Kuwait, Thailand, Hong Kong, the United Kingdon, Australia, and New Zealand - was performed to identify the key constraints and challenges across different economies and policy settings. An online survey was then conducted targeting a sample of 1000 adult Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents which had been weighted to be representative of the population.

To obtain deeper qualitative insights, stakeholder consultations and individual interviews with key representatives from different areas were conducted, including the policymaking, healthcare, academia, industry, civil society, and philanthropy sectors.

The study found that there is general albeit conditional support for improving the welfare of migrant workers. For better migrant welfare, higher costs are more acceptable than cuts to what Singaporeans feel entitled to.

Across the different countries examined, low-wage migrant workers have fewer rights and less access to social services than local residents, though these disparities may not be as obvious in places with high-productivity construction sectors.

This study also informed the creation of The Majurity Trust's SGD500,000 Scaffold Fund and has also been cited by on-the-ground social initiatives, such as A Good Space.

Read the full executive summary at

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