As someone who works in a recruitment firm, I work with many MNCs on their recruitment needs. Trust me, we want to hire Singaporeans. Why wouldn’t we take care of our fellow countrymen/women? Unfortunately, the sad truth is that as companies look to cut costs, more are looking for combined skillsets and experienced individuals with a global mindset and regional exposure. It’s hard to find that many Singaporeans who fit the bill.
It’s frustrating when we have the perfect candidate in front of us but we have to stretch out my recruitment process in search of the Singaporean. As the Ministry of Manpower tightens employment pass application, it’s getting increasingly tough for us.
With the new conditions, ICTs may no longer bring their families into Singapore under the Dependant’s Passes or Long-Term Visit Passes, except where they are specifically covered by an applicable FTA and meet the prevailing criteria for consideration.
While we applaud the preservation of a “Singaporean Core” to level the playing field for Singaporeans, we do ask that Singaporean employees do their parts to get up to speed. There has been a nationwide effort to push for upskilling. Yet, I get candidates telling me that they will take up that course that I suggested “when I get the job”. Upskilling is not a buzzword. The unions are pushing for it, the Government is pushing for it. Yet, to many Singaporeans, they don’t sense the urgency. You are only as good as the competition.
From May 1, dependant’s pass holders will need to obtain work passes if they want to work in S’pore. I spoke with an existing DP holder working on a Letter of Consent (LOC). Her company is trying their best to keep her as she is known to be very well-liked and a good performer. Unfortunately for her, they weren’t able to keep her.
I’m sharing this story in the hope of appealing to Singaporeans. There is no need to demonise our foreign talent, in fact, taking an anti-foreigner stance helps nobody. Foreign labour supplements our economy, they are essential. Singapore is too small to stay closed. And yes, much as we Singaporeans love ranting about our Government and how “they are favouring foreigners”, unbeknownst to you, there is a lot of work ongoing behind the scenes to protect your livelihoods.