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40 plus year old PMET still stuck without a job after listening to govt to ‘upgrade’ himself repeatedly

Posted by temasektimes on May 29, 2012

More than 20 years ago, I graduated with a Diploma in Electrical Engineering. I worked for 7 years and the industry was getting stagnant.

Then the government told us IT is the way to go. I took Diploma in IT and work in the IT sector. The government next said we must upgrade to remain employed, so I took a degree in IT from Australia and got a raise rise.

Then I become expensive when I turned 40 when the foreigners started to throng in cheap and I became redundant.

Then the government told us to switch line and learn new skills and so I took diploma in nutrition and health, a supposedly booming industry.

And you know what? Nobody gives a damn with my newly found skills because I’m above 40 and I have no experience. So what now? Rob a bank? Or drive a taxi?


*The above was first posted as a comment on Facebook.


31 Responses to “40 plus year old PMET still stuck without a job after listening to govt to ‘upgrade’ himself repeatedly”

  1. spotlessleopard said

    Just make sure you vote out the PAP and your Mother, Father, Bros. sisters, Uncles, Aunties and freinds to do the same and this will wll change for the better for you when the Opposition come into power and get rid of all those foreigners with dubious qualifications and skills and jobs are rerserved for Singapreans first….

    When Opposition form the next Government I believe …they will only allow foreigners in only if that job cannot be filled by a singaporean and that the foreigner gets PAID SINGAPOREAN WAGES……

    • ultragirl_agit said

      then i would shudder to think what kind of bill we have to pay to get the bangladesh to clear our rubbish and to build our houses.

    • chia how said

      and i’m pretty sure your grandparents weren’t foreigners when they first arrived.

      • Last time mata wear shorts said

        Nobody interested now whether your grandparents are foreigners or not… This is a non issue with the issue of “FTs” now.

  2. Sage said

    Sigh…..Dunno why you listened to garment in the first place. Go drive taxi, print some name cards to advertise your IT skills, stock some health and nutrition samples in the taxi and sell to customers inside your cab. You’ve got the knowledge and experience, so it’s time to open your mouth and sell yourself.

  3. yayaya said

    u know what? it does not really matter if you are 40 because i am not even 30 and everywhere expect me to have loads of experience, regardless of my education (how to compare to masters from bangala university). it just got worse because u are 40

  4. Dogmeat said

    Could it be that you are a …….. FAILURE? If you cannot out contribute your salary’s worth, stop KPKB about how the world is unfair to you…

    Have you ever wonder why some foreigner kid took a few weeks of IT courses easily out do you? Typical loser who thinks “diploma” means job security and raises.

    If govt ask you to go jump into the river when you can’t afford to live here, would you do it? But given that you are 40, have “no experience”, no value, no self self, only know to complain, you might as well go feed the fish in Singapore river.

  5. thisguydamstupid said

    knn evthing also blame govt. there are ppl 40+ yrs old holding high positions. ppl ask u do what u do what , u no brain to think for yrself issit? the reason why u became redundant is because u did not “add value” to yrself , u tink degree v big ar. ffs no wonder u r jobless.

  6. thisguydamstupid said

    jobless still spend so much time on fb

  7. Anon said

    Don’t know how relevant this is to the above post, but according to CNA article “Many Singapore employers struggle to fill mission-critical roles: survey” (, it says “…employers find it most difficult to fill positions for production operators, accounting and finance staff, as well as engineers”.

    • x12831 said

      The govt is aiming for a low wage economy. The employers are only interested in paying low wages. Experienced and older Singapore citizens need not applied. Been there. Left for good. Don’t expect PAP govt to help.

  8. Be a real FT in Aust said

    You are too daft or obedient?
    Anyway, try to apply as a skilled migrant in Aust but your age might give you less points now unless you can score higher points for your English, there is still a demand for IT in Aust especially in Melb and they have min wage there so your pay won’t be lower than “FTs” here.

    • 52pixels said

      Are you saying that the only solution is for 40-year-old PMETs, all of whom most likely have familial commitment, to migrate to Australia instead of, perhaps, getting the government to provide more incentives for companies here to hire matured workers? What kind of nonsense, short-term solution is this?

      Have you, too, gone daft?

      • Wazzup said

        @pixel, if our govt does not recognize our own talent, why hang around hoping for the day that they do?

        This place is ran like a corporation, a MNC if you like. Like any MNC, if your boss/co does not recognize you for what you have and the competitor does, you do the logical choice and jump.

        Please don’t give me the bullshit about loyalty, because you’ll be the daft one if you hang around after being treated like that!

      • 52pixels said

        If you have the talent/ability to leave the country in pursuit of greener pastures (oh + no commitments), it’s an option. What I’m saying is – it’s not the only option, and it isn’t feasible for most 40+ PMETS here.

      • Real FT in Aust said

        I am not daft and this is long term with foresight solution, that’s why I go ahead to apply for Aust PR after GE2011.
        Thanks to PAP, I got my Aust PR visa granted recently and I am also a 40-year-old PMET with an Aust degree, faithfully completed my 2.5 yrs of NS and 10 yrs of reservist, born and bred in S’pore.
        I have given up hope on PAP govt after the daft 60.1% voted for PAP in GE2011, S’pore has no hope and future under the rule of PAP.
        I am looking forward to start a new life in my newly adopted real 1st world country, Aust.
        Please remember the hard truth – S’pore is a tiny little red dot with no natural resources and now couple with global warming and rising sea level.

      • 52pixels said

        So we’ve established that none of us has gone daft, and that’s great. All I’m saying is that most (not all) can afford to do what you’ve done.

        + congratulations on your PR – i got my degree from Melbourne University; its a great place.

  9. BigHead said

    A lot of 70ers are facing this problem. This is a structural problem which by now the govt still cannot solve. Trust me it will get worse when the economy crashes again. As a matter of fact I don’t think this can ever be solved with our foreigner-number-one employment mindset.
    My only suggestion is to let these people group together (like maybe at least five) to set up a business funded by EDB or e2i. These bunch of people have all the experiences you need to boost Singapore’s start-ups. At this age it is very difficult to get a job with their old pay. Most just get by to make ends meet. The only way is to set up a small business or something. Remember the 60s. Back then there were not much jobs for people, so many of them became street hawkers.

    • x12831 said

      That’s why VB suggested that Singaporeans should consider hawking as a career option. Unbelievable. Back to a third world economy.

      • BigHead said

        I don’t like the idea of an engineer becoming a hawker either. But if I am now retrenched but I can earn back the amount of money being a hawker, I’d feel lucky already. Since they cannot solve the root, this might be a temp solution for the people. Singapore is really getting worse. So what if our GDP goes up? I never see any improvement in our lives. Sorry, great city landscape around Marina Bay and Raffles Place to me doesn’t count.

        The recent sentiment of Hougang voters at the rallies is a very natural reflection of bad times, especially of the lower-income group. Do you see this kind of reaction ten, twenty years ago? No.

  10. cuppam said

    actually, i seriously think u been “Con” and accept to be “Con”. you should really think about yourself,. How to make yourself to be a “unique” product. not “this is hot”, “this is needed” then you jump into it. when people build, they build it “higher and higher” not build another to go into the new industries. what i see, you jus like having a Basic Foundation in everything you do. u need more than that..

    Advise: why don’t you think what is suitable for you, and what you can do to EXCEL. then think again what to do.

  11. speechless said

    haha.. blame urself for not a FT…

  12. ADisgustedSingaporean said

    Dear Ali Yahee, You’re not alone as nowadays, there are many native singaporeans without jobs thanks to the Pro-FTs Immigration Policy inforce currently which had seen more than 1.8 Million FTs + Foreign Workers in Singapore till-date.

    Without a job or proper job, ordinary singaporeans are struggling to put 3 meals on the table to feed their families & children even!

    Some native singaporeans without jobs are as young as 30 years of age with Master Degree qualifications even!

    You can actually visit this web link to find out more details on why these singaporeans are still without jobs & please support the petition:

    Listen to the experiences sharing & actual testimonies from these jobless singaporeans in the website!

    Infact, I am extremely flabbergasted that with so many singaporeans jobless especially those from the PMET category & yet, we could still enjoy a high employment rate & status with the published unemployment rate at a low of only 2 percent (2%) in Singapore currently???

    Especially when “70 percent of jobs created in Singapore went to foreigners last year” according to an article published by Bloomberg & posted by Temasek Times on May 25, 2012. The article further went on to say that “Of the 122,600 jobs created in Singapore last year, about 70 percent, or 84,800 positions, went to foreigners.”, I quote:

    “The percentage of jobs going to Singapore citizens are likely to be less as the country lumps citizens & PRs under the same category of “Locals” in all its statistics. Despite the wide discrepancy in the number of new jobs going to Singaporeans and foreigners, Singapore’s unemployment rate remains low at around 2.5 percent.”

    Query: How easy it is for FTs & EPs especially for those who are degree holders & earning at least S$3,000 per month to convert to Singapore’s PR status nowadays?

  13. Samuel Mimi said

    “So what now? Rob a bank? Or drive a taxi?”
    become a hawker?

  14. Melinda said

    Dont blame ur fucking unfortunate on the govt! Everyone experience up and down in life. If that’s how u over come ur obstacles in your life then that’s it. Give up and live ur life whinning away. Pui

    • BigHead said

      Melinda, if your loved one lose his job during a recession, do you blame the recession or his incompetence?

      Try to put yourself in people’s situation before spitting the four-letter word. You sound like a solid career woman (but selfish). The strong should help the weak, remember that. Not everybody is manager material like you.

      People like you are not fit to use the four-letter word.

    • ADisgustedSingaporean said

      Are you a Pro-PAP Activist or FT converted Singapore Citizen?

      Don’t you know that we currently have at least 1.8 Million of FTs + Foreign Workers in Singapore till-date?

      I have come across many unemployed & jobless singaporean natives which are struggling hard to put 3 meals on the table to feed their families/children and yet the unemployment rate (KPI) in Singapore is reported to be at a low rate of 2% presently (almost full employment status for all Singaporeans)?

      Please check this web link out, okie?

    • Daft Melinda said

      Who created the fucking obstacles?

  15. ExPMET said

    We have a situation which can’t really be blamed on FT’s alone. Company’s are always looking to maximise profit. FT’s provide the opportunity to do so. The government makes it easier to hire FT’s. I am not pissed at the presence of FT’s. But I am pissed at the fact that unlike places like New Zealand and Australia (which are really first class btw), we lack policies that places citizens first. In NZ for example, they have occupations that cannot be filled by a foreigner on work VISA unless they have been identified as critically undersupplied. The other reason why I’m miffed is that the representatives of the ruling party always cite statistics. If we have over 7,000 PMETs who are out of jobs, and there are 6,000 over fastfood server and 5,000 production operator jobs still available, they would always say something along the line that although unemployment is at x%, there is still y% of jobs they can fill. That’s not fair, it’s a comparison of apples to oranges. That’s like saying, if the current elected representative can’t do his/her/its job, they should be replaced by monkeys. Lastly, critics (who have jobs) always like to use the most positive of canned responses and euphemisms “challenge”, “rise to the occasion” etc. If you have ever watched Will Smith in “Pursuit of Happyness” go watch it. It’s easy to provide constructive criticism; but until you’ve had a situation of being kicked out of your home, had your water or electricity cut, have mounting debts and banks chasing you for payments etc – it’s tough to comment on the situation our fellow unemployed Singaporeans are facing. It’s easy to say that they (or we) put ourselves in this, got into debt etc. But face it, debt wasn’t the issue when we could pay (just like when you can pay for your car, house ,credit cards etc). But when even savings are depleted, and in the face of rising pressure to put food on the table, pay the bills – add to that the inability to get even an interview for a relatively entry level position or any job in fact – do you think the solution is to tell our PMETs to “suck it” and bite the bullet? Add to that the policies that tell our PMETs to acquire new skills, get upgraded, grow laterally etc. – is there a guarantee that the companies we apply to would hire us? Nope. Forget guarantees – would we be considered above the FT who has had less experience, a similar qualification but a much lower asking salary? Even if we had asked for a lower salary still it doesn’t guarantee we’d get the job.

    I think that amidst all this clamour to gain support and put a positive spin on the prevailing policies; to win the hearts and minds of Singaporeans for the next GE, is a clear lack of understanding that the PMETs who are unemployed are unhappy with the perception that the government does not want or wish to be proactive when it comes to ensuring citizens come first. We get the feeling that after toeing the party line for so long, that we are left in the open.

    Yes, we are “sucking it up” yes we are “biting the bullet”. But what we need is for the government to stop saying that there are enough jobs. Everyone can be a hawker in a crisis. That is not an issue. Do you think the hawkers will not complain if the are suddenly 15,000 more hawkers out there? Can you guarantee then that the hawkers would be properly supported in crises (just like when the US Banks were bailed out by the Federal Reserve)?. Are you going to create social programs that subsidise the cost of business for new hawkers? Initiate new programes to encourage domestic spending to ensure hawkers remain in business?

  16. Shahrin said

    You are not alone. I am one of you who was retrenched at the age of 40 due to downsizing. No could imagine an oil major can do that and I am in that situation,

    Of course i get the severance and i was enjoying it but i also realised that it was difficult to get a job which pays reasonably to survive in Singapore.

    I end up working in Middle east to support my family. I have to leave my family and work in Qatar alone.

    Is the government doing anything about it? I dont think so…. They turn the story saying that Singaporeans are valued highly overseas.

    Most of us who went overseas are not because we love to work there but we are left with not much choice. Everyday each one of us are thinking to go back but we have responsibility and if we just go back without getting any job we might as well dont as we may end up jobless forever…….

    Employers do not appreciate experience as they know experience is equal to monetary outlay and not profit for the company. We need FT to run certain industries and I was never against all of them but the employers are taking the advantage to reduce their costs by employing them and not find innovative ways to reduce costs.

    Government encourages Singaporeans to take up courses, change industries but can they promise us a reasonable paying job to sustain the living standards of Singapore. Do they have any minimum wage policies for different industries for singaporeans? Do they have Singaporeans 1st to be employed? How many true Singaporeans meaning mum and dad from singapore and no conversion of citizenship are there in Singapore?

    The government should not only work on making their KPI look good. Even if the opposition comes into power, I dont think they can do a better job. It may be the same or even worst. The government should look at the issue as a Singaporeans and not PAP, WP or SDP………..

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