Another new initiative to help Singaporean workers?
According to the Channel NewsAsia news report “New portal to prepare students for future jobs” (Apr 7) – “The one-stop portal for education, training and career information, is a key plank of the SkillsFuture initiative that seeks to help Singaporeans take ownership of their job search.”
What do employers want?
All these new initiatives to help Singaporeans find jobs and career development may not work because we do not think through what is it that most employers want?
Employers want …
- workers who are experienced, highly skilled, highly educated and intelligent
When you allow the whole world to come to Singapore as tourists to look for jobs – you don’t need to be a genius to figure out that the odds will continue to be stacked against Singaporeans – when you are competing with the best (or the worse who fake their credentials) in the world
- workers who cost less
Foreigners don’t have to contribute CPF. So, employers save up to 20 per cent on wages. And of course, foreigners may be willing to work for lesser pay than Singaporeans
- workers who do not have turnover problems
Since most foreigners are on 2-year contracts – they are mostly stuck with the same employer for at least 2 years
- less work disruption
Foreigners on work permits cannot get pregnant. So, no “4 months’ maternity leave” problems. Those on employment pass also typically come to Singapore as “singles” and so are less likely to have maternity leave
Male foreigners do not have National Service reservist training “disruptions” to work
- workers who can do very long hours of shift work
Foreigners have no choice and are more willing to accept jobs which are 12 hours or longer a day for 6 days a week
Make yourself valuable to employers?
As to the article “Make yourself valuable, even after getting your degree: Indranee Rajah” (CNA, Apr 7), which said ”The forum focused on whether a degree still matters when it comes to employment, and saw some students sharing their views on pursuing a job that is not relevant to their degree.
Ms Indranee said having skills to adapt to the changing job market will be important and it is one of the objectives of the Government’s SkillsFuture initiative.
Odds stacked against Singaporeans?
She added that the Government is hoping to change mind sets by getting people to find out what they really want to do and to get the relevant qualifications”
- how do Singaporeans make themselves more valuable to employers, when the odds are so stacked against them in favour of foreigner?
Real pay increase?
So, is it any wonder that the real starting pay of graduates has hardly increased in the last 8 years or so, and real basic, gross and total wages (excluding employer CPF contribution) have also hardly increased in the last 15 years or so?
Employ Singaporeans first?
Finally, the most telling “wayang” is perhaps that the national jobs portal under the Fair Consideration Framework to employ Singaporeans First, cannot give any statistics at all as to how many of the jobs actually went to Singaporeans!
Win battles lose war
* Submitted by TRE reader
Half the workforce not “true-blue” Singaporeans?
P.S. I went to a bank, hospital and food basement of a shopping mall one day, and almost every worker was not a Singaporean!