New work pass to attract talent, we’re in an era where businesses follow talent, and talent follows business: Tan See Leng

Global, Singapore, Pass, Work, Shortage

A new work pass will be launched on 1 Jan next year.  Called the Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass (or One Pass), the new work pass hopes to attract top talent across all sectors. This is Singapore’s bid to build a pool of world class talents here. 

Applicants will need to earn a fixed monthly salary of $30,000 and above. This is comparable to the top 5 per cent of Employment Pass (EP) holders.

At a media briefing, Manpower Minister Dr Tan See Leng said, “We are making targeted enhancements to our work pass framework, to better attract top talent and experienced tech professionals in areas of skills shortages.”

Is the shortage of talents in Singapore an indication that there is something wrong with our education system?

Not at all. The shortage of talent has nothing to do with our education system. Top talent in senior positions are not trained in school.

Talent shortage a global phenomenon

The shortage of talent in Singapore is also not a unique Singapore phenomenon. It is a global phenomenon. Countries all over the world are making a special effort to court top international talents. They are all trying to attract the same pool of talent.

These countries are all in the global competition to grab talents:

Germany recently allowed skilled foreign professionals to live there even before they secure a job. The United Arab Emirates has a Golden Visa scheme for talent in medicine, science & technology, and culture and art that lasts for five to 10 years. The United Kingdom recently introduced a Global Talent Visa with a five-year duration for graduates from the world’s top 50 universities including NUS and NTU. 

Can’t afford to turn inwards while others are going out of their way to compete for global talent.

That’s so true. When countries are pulling all the stops to attract the same talent, how can Singapore do any less? 

In this global contest for talent, Singapore cannot afford to be creamed off, or left behind.

“We are now in an era where businesses follow talent, as much as talent follows business. Both businesses and talent are searching for safe and stable environments to invest, live and work in. Singapore is such a place.”

– Dr Tan See Leng

To create a society of opportunities for current and future generations of Singaporeans, Singapore needs to be a vibrant global city. We achieve this by building a deep local talent pool as well as welcoming talents from around the world.

One Pass is among several initiatives to strengthen Singapore’s position as a global talent hub, Manpower Minister Dr Tan See Leng said.

The bar is high for One Pass

Applicants need to meet a salary threshold of S$30,000 a month or have “outstanding achievements” in their field. 

Candidates with no recent employment history in Singapore will need to demonstrate that they have worked or will be working for an established company with at least a market cap of US$500 million (S$700 million) or annual revenue of US$200 million.

One Pass has a longer duration of five years. It also provides the holder the flexibility of playing multiple roles in Singapore’s economy, Dr Tan See Leng said. Successful applicants will be allowed to start, operate and work for multiple companies in Singapore at the same time.

Singapore's Global Talent Strategy

Credit: MOM
Credit: MOM
Credit: MOM
Credit: MOM


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