Job Losses Swell, so Where is the Assumed Labour Crunch?

Singaporeans are regularly cajoled into believing that there is a serious labour crunch in the country, forcing employers and the Government to bring in people from overseas.

This morning’s newspaper report that more people actually lost their jobs in 2014 (based on data until December 2014) than during the same corresponding period in 2013 appears to nail that misinformation.

PMETs, Worst Hit: Professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) accounted for 51 per cent of the job losses, according to the Ministry of Manpower report that was quoted by The Straits Times.

Still, the nation is often reminded of a tight labour situation here. Why are Singaporeans losing their jobs to foreigners? The excuse we may be tired of hearing is that the skills companies require may be in short supply among Singaporeans.

Not Rocket Science: Marketing, HR, Sales, Sales Support and PR/Communications are some of the jobs that regularly go to foreigners. How is it these basic skills are missing among Singaporeans?

They are not areas involving rocket science, so even if there is some shortage in those areas they are skills that can be very easily picked up on the job by locals who should hold an edge because of their familiarity with the local environment.

That will require only short-term training even while they deliver on their role requirements. Every job requires some acclimatisation anyway for both locals and foreigners.

It is not just experienced skilled locals losing their jobs, even fresh graduates from top universities are struggling to get the right breaks.

The Jobs Bank farce: Also, the Jobs Bank farce must be fixed soon — employers must be made to post all jobs there irrespective of the salaries they carry.

Currently, jobs that pay more than S$12k a month can be offered to anyone employers fancy without the Jobs Bank restriction!

I am not even convinced that postings in the Jobs Bank are properly scrutinised.

G Joslin Vethakumar


Filed under Employment in Singapore

2 responses to “Job Losses Swell, so Where is the Assumed Labour Crunch?

  1. Pingback: Labour Market is NOT Tight in Singapore | Top of the Word

  2. Pingback: Govt Must Admit Failure to Build a Local Talent Pool | Top of the Word

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