Locals in Worforce Outnumbered by Foreigners?
It’s Labour Day today and a public holiday in Singapore and most of Asia. Amid all the drivel we keep hearing about a tight labour market, the Government has released reports showing that unemployment among Singaporeans has been steadily going up.
I can vouch for it as I know of fresh Singaporean graduates who have been struggling to find a job for more than a year.
If the labour market is tight where are the jobs going when Singaporeans don’t get one? It leads to disturbing questions.
- Is racism a reason?
- Are fresh graduates not able to find suitable jobs because they are raw hands?
- Even the resources who are able to find jobs easily here acquire skills only on the job through training. This does not apply just to fresh graduates from overseas, even many of the so-called experienced personnel pick up the skills necessary only after they move in here?
- Why are companies not hiring locals and training them?
Shockingly, an analysis in The Online Citizen today shows that more than 50% of those in the workforce in Singapore are foreigners! This is completely unacceptable and shows how lax the government has been in addressing the anomaly.
- They cleverly explain unemployment among Singaporeans away by saying that this is because of a skills mismatch.
- Assuming it is true I cannot help putting the blame for it squarely on the government.
- Why did it fail to develop the skillset of Singaporeans?
- We have the world’s best universities here but why did the government not do anything worthwhile to get Singaporeans into critical subjects that will land them easy jobs on graduation?
- There are too many foreigners being admitted into engineering and other vital courses with the government doing little to encourage locals to consider them.
- The government has a skills development fund aimed at encouraging locals to develop expertise in areas that are in demand. Why cannot that be exclusively for Singapore citizens? The PRs here are tapping that fully.
- A government that has done little to develop and foster local talent is a failed government.
I hope the government stops fooling the public with statistical jugglery and starts taking serious measures to guarantee jobs for Singaporeans first and foremost.
G Joslin Vethakumar