Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"The best of both wolds" in the Singapore job market

How do you see the Singapore job market's popularity to foreign workers? Do you think it hinders you from reaching your goals? Or perhaps, you're one of those who believe that the strong foreign presence is a plus factor to the economy?

It's a common notion here that fewer foreign workers will reduce competition for jobs. The government, on the other hand, thinks that such a cutback will cause the economy to slow down because some industries will experience labour shortage.

"If we do it right, we can be the first labour movement in the world that's able to serve an "all CAN" workforce -- all collars, all ages, all nationalities". Labour chief Lim Swee Say wants the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) to be the first labour movement in the world to represent all segments of workforce, a target he has set at the close of the movement's month-long National Day celebrations. A way to address the contrasting concerns of the government and locals. Something that promises better prospects for working professionals, both local and foreign. A good introduction to our first attempt in featuring this topic of debate on our blog, needless to say.

"It's possible to have the best of both worlds by improving employment and productivity so that we can increase gross domestic product and, at the same time, manage the inflow of foreign workers". Mr Say plans to tap the help of older workers and economically inactive women, boost productivity of the workforce, and improve the skills of foreign workers who do come to achieve the goal. Singapore has always believed that Singapore offers equal opportunities in career for local and foreign workers. As for what we think of Mr Say's strategy, it's going to work given participation from the workforce. It's a matter of whether the workers in question are going to participate or not, in our opinion. The perks to be offered must be interesting and compelling. What are your thoughts on Mr Say's GPOA? Let's discuss.

Our say on the contrasting views of the government and locals? The Straights Times has published a related article last Jun 28, which we've also featured on this blog for Headlines that Matter. Back then, we remember suggesting the locals to focus on developing their skills. We've also emphasized the importance of learning in career there. "Ensure that your skills are on a par with what the job market demands; then you'll not have problems". Anything about skills training and career development may seem hard to handle, but you have many resources. Career Events and can lend you a hand for this goal, for instance.

The latest reports we've received from our partner organisations speak of positivity, bits of which have been the inspiration for the latest commentaries on job updates and market surveys on this blog. Snippets on "many industries are rehiring", "many jobs are in demand", "the balance of power is swinging back to the workforce", and the likes not only helped increase this blog's popularity but also inspired many people to be more aggressive in their job hunting. There's no denying the Singapore job market's road to full recovery. Competition's not THE problem. Focus on what you do best (and how you can improve that talent more) in your job hunting and you'll have no problems.

Foreigners who wish to work in Singapore need not be worried too. The issue's been raised, but that doesn't mean the gates will be closed. Looking to be a part of Singapore's economy? We suggest you pay and a visit to learn how the country goes about foreign employment. In a nutshell, this is how the process goes: The EPEC will allow you to stay in the country for up to one year to look for employment opportunities. Qualified EPEC applicants (see requirements for EPEC and other information @, are required to apply for a one-year Visit Pass from the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA). Note however, that EPEC is not a work pass. Your new employer will be the one to get you the Employment Pass; you'll be allowed to work only after you get this pass. has provided a very comprehensive explanation on this. Singapore
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