Singapore Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say told Parliament on Thursday that two-thirds of personnel employed in the ICT sector were residents. By residents, he meant both citizens and PRs.
Data covering only citizens will have been helpful as PRs are foreigners too, just as those on work permits here. I have no doubt they will be available, it is the responsibility of newspapers to go beyond quoting Ministers and make reporting meaningful with such statistics. One can hardly expect that from The Straits Times.
Intelligent Island and a Smart Nation: Having been in the ICT sector for the last 20 years, I have found a skills gap among locals. The Singapore government has consistently been technology-focused, transforming the country into an Intelligent Island by year 2000. Its current push is on making Singapore the world’s first Smart Nation.
But not much has been done in terms of preparing locals to support the drive. The Education authorities do not seem to have done enough to draw Singaporeans into science and technology courses in the local universities.
I find that even diploma holders from countries such as India have been able to land ICT jobs here. Is Singapore that desperate?
The government needs to do more to encourage citizens to take up ICT courses in universities.
Let them also be more transparent when they release critical data – without clubbing Singaporeans with PRs.
G Joslin Vethakumar