Friday, September 3, 2010

Foreign employment concerns and 'citizens come first'. The 'best of both worlds' in the S'pore job market, part 2.

These past few days have been tasteless for us keepers of this blog -- nothing particularly intriguing has happened, so pardon the poignancy of the last three publishings. To not have something good to share is nightmare. It's a bitter truth all bloggers must face -- making a pointless update is just like wasting time on a flick of bad-written script and casting. It's a frustration that's no different than getting locked inside the house on a perfectly sunny day. Similes are great.

Seeing as the week's already ending (and we don't want to end it pointless), we employ our last resort for getting inspired -- reading our favorite periodicals for news on the Singapore job market. We find out that Labour chief Lim Swee Say's "best of both worlds" goal is on the echo, still. The spotlight's filled with reports on foreign employment in the country -- from their compensation packages becoming localised to the industries demanding them. Immediately, we're reminded of something -- that this is a topic we've grown to be fond of, just like job hunting and career development. It really pays to read your news.

Foreign employment has always been a topic of debate, so are we taking sides? No. What's the purpose of this write up, then? To serve as a place for those ideas we've failed to include in "The best of both wolds" in the Singapore job market" and also to clear some points. More for us to get some things straight, yes, but still relevant enough for casual readers to consider giving a snap.

To say that Singapore is a "good" place for career is a gross understatement. In the perspective of career, working, or whatever term you prefer to call this realm of life, it's just not enough to describe "Little Red Dot" as good. If nothing else, it's great. The locals are continuously presented with career opportunities of caliber -- there's not a day that we don't see an article that features MOM and its plans to better the standing of its market of workers. Countless of foreigners are looking to swim to Singapore's waters of career too -- we encounter tons a day, inquiring either about the current standing of the Singapore job market or how to apply for EPEC.

In this part of the world (and some also say, beyond), Singapore's considered as one of the best places to establish a career in. This has sparked concerns on stability and being conquered among the locals, though. One common notion here is that fewer foreign presence will reduce competition for jobs, lessening the pressure in the part of the locals. Such a cutback will give a dent to Singapore's economy, though, the government argues -- cutting back foreign workers will cause the economy to slow down because some industries will experience labour shortage.

Many are asking after the goal has been cast, will Singapore be closing its gates to foreign workers soon? "We have very good people but never enough. And therefore we need to draw from all over the world, to supplement our local pool." Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong insists that Singapore must remain open, but he assures Singaporeans that they are, and will always be, the priority. While Singapore needs the help of foreigners to top up its talent pool, labour force, and population (all three are important aspects of the country's economy), Singaporeans will always come first not just in career but also in aspects beyond it. The fact that the levies -- what employers must pay to hire a foreigner instead of a local -- are going up is one good reason for the locals to stop the worrying. "Some employers may feel the pinch. But it is necessary because we need to manage the inflow and not have an indefinite number", says the Prime Minister.

Demand for foreign workers is still strong, as far as the news is concerned. The Prime Minister defines foreign employment as transient. Foreign workers are transient -- the economy needs their help to fill in construction jobs, banking jobs, manufacturing jobs and the likes, he argues. This is also the case with SMEs.

At the end of the day, "it is better to rise from life as from a banquet - neither thirsty nor drunken." Aristotle's wisdom stands strong. Balance. "The key to this is not just your arguments and the principles and the logic, but the personal ties and the friendships", the Prime Minister concludes his National Day Rally speech. The key to achieve the best of both worlds is accord between locals and foreigners, so to speak. Assurances have been cast -- instead of worrying about competitions, focusing on building their careers is what locals should do. Similarly, foreigners shouldn't feel threatened of getting robbed off of their jobs and dreams soon -- it has been said: the Singapore values foreigners as assets -- important keys to the development of the economy.

Just a few more things...

We've made it clear in the part 1. There's no room for worrying in career. You sow negativity, so shall you reap negativity. The locals are encouraged to never stop seeking for advancement opportunities. Keep your skills updated and you'll be secured. Career Events and are good places to find seminar events to attend. Established in their chosen fields, from finance to personal development, an excellent job is a standard for regulars George Goh, John Ho, Ricky Lien, David Goldwich, Shirley Taylor, Alison Lester, and Sandra Sandu-Reeves. Unlike Career Events offers only one seminar a month, on the other hand, but it's sure to keep you interested with compelling topics and freebies.

Can we also interest you in a networking event? Career Expo 2011 is a Singapore career fair you shouldn't miss. Keep up with or this blog for announcements.

If you need to know more techniques on career building, Career Advice can pretty much fill you. Get advice from career experts and experienced working professionals @

For foreigners: Something worth repeating over and over -- if it's an opportunity in career that you're eying, EPEC (Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate) is the one to get, not a Tourist Pass or any other pass. explains what EPEC is, how to get it, and who are qualified for it. Just to fill you in, in a nutshell, EPEC will allow applicants to stay in the country for up to one year to look for a job. 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). Take note, however, that EPEC is not the same as the Employment Pass. You're employer will be the one to give you this. has a very comprehensive explanation on Employment Passes.

More articles about this in the future? There's a good chance. Drop a comment and we'll address your concerns in the next one. Singapore
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