What do you honestly feel about local vs foreign talent when it comes to job competition in Singapore, and in which white-collar industries in particular? - Seedly
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Singapore General Elections 2020




Asked on 30 Jun 2020

What do you honestly feel about local vs foreign talent when it comes to job competition in Singapore, and in which white-collar industries in particular?

Kenneth Lou
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Jeraldine Phneah
Jeraldine Phneah
Level 3. Wonderkid
Updated on 02 Jul 2020

As someone who loves Singapore and her people, I feel saddened to see some of our local workers being discriminated in the country that they call home.

The Workers' Party has brought up this issue many times during elections and in Parliament. Similarly, former Acting Minister of Manpower, Tan Chuan Jin, has also spoken up on this issue before "We have heard anecdotes of how in certain cases, heads of business units or HR managers have a preference for candidates they are familiar with or of the same nationality, for reasons that are irrelevant to job performance and irrespective of whether they are more competent than other candidates…

We have also heard of situations where Singaporeans were retrenched or made to resign in the name of down-sizing, only to realise later that their positions were given to foreigners, who were coincidentally from the same countries as the business heads…

Let me be quite blunt. Would these practices not sound discriminatory? Would any respectable progressive company endorse these practices? If this hiring is indeed because they care only about choosing familiar candidates and not about hiring the ‘best man for the job’, then such practices have no place in Singapore’s workplaces. Discrimination will not and cannot be tolerated."

I personally appreciate the contributions of many of these workers who have come here to share their knowledge and help our economy.

I also understand that in some circumstances, there is truly a real lack of local manpower and skills.

However, I hope that there can be stricter guidelines when applying for Employment Passes to ensure that this is truly the case.

Under the current framework, firms with at least 10 employees must advertise openings for jobs paying below $20,000 a month on the national MyCareersFuture.sg portal for at least 14 days before applying for an employment pass for a foreigner.

However, employers can work around this by selecting the candidate first and then posting it on the MyCareersFuture.sg portal for show.

To strengthen this, I feel that businesses should be required to submit a detailed description of local recruitment efforts done; numbers of Singaporean applicants, and reasons why Singapore candidates who were considered were deemed unsuitable for the position.

This is a suggestion which WP highlighted in her 2020 Manifesto and I do find it would really strengthen our existing measures in place.​​​


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Well I come from the sports industry (Badminton coach) and a lot of these talents are my personal friends. Everyone here is trying our best to just make a living so I understand their plight. I feel that it's a fair game tbh and it's the price of globalization. It's bad when they steal my ricebowl but often times they worked hard and deserved it.

If anything, I needa work harder and smarter to beat them both in her and potentially back at their homeplace too!

P.S Do check out my personal finance and business YT Channel​​​


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