News and views from an unique perspective

Jobless 39-year-old NTU Engineer: Worked 5 Months As PT Librarian At $4/hour

Posted by temasektimes on June 3, 2012

I’m 39 Male Chinese Singapore Citizen. 2.5 years NS and 10 years ICT for the boot…..

I graduated from Nanyang Technological University in July 1997 with a Bachelor’s degree in Materials Engineering.

After graduation, my working experience has always been in the failure analysis and inspection of IC components in various companies.

I was retrenched in 2010 due to company closure. Ever since, I have trouble getting full time jobs.

I applied for diploma entry level jobs even though the skillsets required were below those described in my resume.

Yet…I was not called up for interview.

I’m willing to take a lower diploma pay but yet……forget it.

My foray into temp jobs didnt bode well either….I did worked part time in a library before but I found the pay too low ($4/hour)….so I quit after five months.

Imagine a NTU engineering graduate having to go down to such a level is frankly beyond me especially when I started to study engineering almost two decades ago with much optimism.

What is happening to our country?

Moreover, the government won’t be bothered about people like us.

We are the losers.

WDA and e2i called up when I was doing part time in the library…..and they assumed I’m fully employed after I told them my part time job! What a joke!

Subsequently my name was removed from the list and I guess that’s why unemployment figures are low…. I also heard that those who are out of work for more 6 months are considered retired!

How can the unemployment figure be just 2%? Its beyond comprehension…

When I was working in the library, I chatted with the aunties working there and a lot of them told me their sons/daughters also got trouble finding jobs even with a professional degree.

You might have wondered why those aunties are willing to stick to the library job despite such low pay ($4/hour)? It is only because they can’t find relevant companies willing to employ them.

$4 /hour? It is totally ridiculous and almost like a cleaner’s pay.

If you think it is an easy job (which many think it is)….try doing it for 5-8 hours standing most of the time.

According to them…..the agency submitted the lowest bid to NLB…naturally the project was awarded to them because the government always go for the lowest bidder.

Hence…..the low rates.

I guess this also explains why cleaners wages are low too.

We are in serious trouble and yet many people think Singapore is still ok….that’s because they still have cushy jobs.

The influx of FTs in every area has depressed wages for low income workers and also deprive our local graduates of good jobs.

The government always say FTs are here to do jobs which Singaporeans don’t wish to do……but what about jobs which we want to do?

If you are wondering why I can still survive until now….it is because I have been frugal all along and I’m still single. If I’m married with kids, most likely I would have ended up in Bedok Reservoir.


*The above article was first published on, a support site for the unemployed here


71 Responses to “Jobless 39-year-old NTU Engineer: Worked 5 Months As PT Librarian At $4/hour”

  1. Cancer said

    Why don’t you approach your MP? Ask him/her to provide a solution for you since you are willing to work hard and not being lazy (as proclaimed by the govt that S’poreans are lazy/choosy). Now, I am very worried about the future of my children.

    • x12831 said

      Ong Ah Heng, the Nee Soon Central MP told me at a MPS that I should work as a cleaner. That much help I received from the MP. I left SIN with my family.

    • Iceman said

      they will ask you,”What do you think … ??? then you will have to provide your own solutions … ; )

    • All singaporean parent should worry for their children, they’re going suffer more if pap still hold power
      in the future. good luck to all.

    • eric said

      Approach MP? U must be kidding. MP will just refer to a proper channel which is CDC, ok? I think you are not well known enough of Singapore handling. Good luck to future children!

  2. James Tan said

    Since it is going to be difficult to get a decent job in the foreseeable future, i would suggest you consider switching to marine industry. they always require people in the marine industry. as a bachelor, it would be even easier for you to get by. Sacrifice for a while and you will see the return. Once you have a marine qualification, your next employer is not only within Singapore, but worldwide. Having a degree is an added advantage. Seek advice from Singapore Poly.

  3. satoshi said

    eh.. try looking at those uncles in mbs hotel bellmen who are above 45-50 years old had to stand 10-12hrs a shift.. u are 39 years and cant even endure for 5-8 hrs a day?? sigh.. though that’s not the point but u get the drift..

    • Jason Tan said

      Apparently you didn’t get the point of the post either. Only thing I can think of you is 1. Too young. 2. Didn’t work with a professional degree related job till the mid 30s to have a career switch. I have tried to make a career switch when I was 33 two years ago but wasn’t successful. So yes, I can see where the OP is coming from.

    • Your Father said

      I dun think he is trying to say he cant take it. if this happens to you, i believe u wont say such things.

    • G M said

      Satoshi, I hope u will be forced to go through this man’s experience of being overqualified and having to settle for a miserable pay….and I hope u suffer it twice as long as he had/still has to.


      • mahbok tan said

        Its because they are not facing it !!!!
        I have been retrenched in 2003 , I expect the unexpected from the industry when going out for job hunting. Usually bringing along my younger staff as well , even at the age of 32years old and having a family , he cannot get hold of any production job in the manufacturing industry coz all inside the factory are FT’s….!!!
        Guess those who have experienced it will be more sympathetic towards them…..!!!!

    • Tactful said

      Guys, before you get defensive, Satoshi may be offering an opinion that even the aged has to work for longer hours and retire at a later age. This is very much true in Singapore where we just keep increasing the age for retirement.

      I dont think he is targetting as much on the OP’s physique even though the OP has every right to yell discrimination to our government, fancy siding the foreigners more than fellow Singaporeans.

    • Henri said

      Huh? I am shock by your lousy comment, Satoshi ( Japanese or what? “FT”? ) That guy is a graduate and how do you compare him to bellmen? Maybe you can compare them to security guards !! And no disrespect to Guards – they are also making a living too, Louis, you have my and other sensible people’s support. I hope you find something better soon.
      Keep your spirit up.

    • Benny Quek said

      Satoshi,I doubt your IQ giving such comments.An engineering graduate from NTU ended up dong part-time job in the library earning $4/hr is a tragedy of Singaporeans.It is not a matter of standing long hours,it is the disappointment at our society,precisely our government.Something is very wrong with our national policy,for more and more abnormalities are surfaced these days.

  4. Austin said

    My uncle is an engineer too. He graduated from one of the most prestigious universities in the USA. He’s in his late 40s. 4 years ago, he was retrenched by a new boss from India and was replaced by another engineer from India. He said his ex-company is full of Indian Nationals now. He has been actively looking for jobs but still jobless now after 4 years. He currently lives by renting out two rooms in his 3-room HDB for S$500/month each.

    I myself have to unwillingly quit Singapore after graduated from NUS and am currently working overseas because I couldn’t find a job in my major due to the intense competition with all other foreign professionals. Clearly, they don’t just come and take space and jobs, they even push Singaporeans out of our own country. Singapore is no longer a country. It is a corporation that only recruits and retains the brightest and/or cheapest, and retrenches all others. If you’re talented (but not talented enough to find a job in the US, Europe or Australia), then welcome to Singapore Inc.

    The problem with young Singaporean professionals is that we have to compete intensely with other nationals in our own country. But when we seek opportunities overseas, we’ll find that almost all countries protect their citizens and noone opens their job market for us the way we open our job market to others. If you’ve ever been looking for jobs in the US, you’ll see how much their law protects their citizens. Foreign nationals have very little chance. That might slow down their economic growth, but their citizens are very happy and love their country.

    If Singapore stops taking FTs, our economy may slow down but I’m sure we’ll be happier. I don’t need a wealthy Singapore, what I need is a happy Singapore.

  5. aloysius12 said

    Were they lisening? After the by-election could they be bothered to be troubled? no wonder unemployed rates have dropped- whose manipilating the figures? Nicholl Highway collasped because of lowest bidding; Pap will follow suit if these organisations choose the lowest bidder.
    I believe the chain of command is not serving the PaP reasonablely well-sort “tell me what we want to hear”. These lower rung can be dispensed with by foreigners(take it or leave it).

  6. The Gardener said

    Don’t worry.
    Support PAP & sincere caring concern will be showered over your worries by our Ministers. Good luck.

  7. Don’t blame anyone, it’s your own faultq

  8. I love pap said

    Join PAP like what tpl did. Good employment

  9. idiotic 60.1% said

    i bet you voted for the PAP before you were retrenched. if so, then serves you right.

  10. A G Young said

    Remember what Bloomberg had reported recently: 70% of jobs were created for FOREIGNERS in 2011!! Where do you stand?

  11. FuckoffPinoys& Indians said

    Did u vote for the PAP all this while? If u did, then what’s there to complain about. But if did not, then continue to do so. We got to keep trying and trying, to vote the bastards-in-white out.

    • Mel said

      second that, we have to keep trying…

    • Michelle Chua said

      What’s up with your nick? Fuck off Pinoys n Indians? Seriously? It’s people like you who instigate racial disharmony. People like you should fuck off from this country.

  12. bb said

    Sg should introduce unemployment benefits to its citizens and even to PRs. The reasons are:

    1. Correct and accurate unemployment statistics as those ppl receiving the benfits will be conidered unemployed.
    2. PRs are given unemployment benefits- so gov will not any how give PR to any foreigner. Given PR status will not so easy
    3. Sg citizens will be easily employed because the gov is pressurised to ensure low employment figure or else it have to pay out the benefits.

    Under the current system the gov couldn’t be bothered how its sg ppl are doing.

  13. wMulew said

    The guy claims he last got his cert 20 years ago. Hello, it’s called becoming obsolete!!!! Instead of blaming FT, try taking courses in the latest trend of change your line of work!!!! Having a part time job is still having a job!!!! A lot of Europeans would wish they can get a part time job right now

  14. Shawn said

    Don’t Be a Wage Slave! Why work so hard in a job that you are not going to own and could be fired from anytime??? Join the Happy Life Project to re-design your life to achieve Time/Health/Financial Freedom!

  15. LanceTeo said

    Email Me
    You Might Have A New Life

  16. LanceTeo said

    Mail Me At :

  17. dyn said

    Hmm this is precisely what the government meant, 5-8 hrs abd you couldnt stand it? I meant I am was jobless for 1 yr and I decided to switch career as I realise being persistent wont do any good…actually there are plenty of opportunities out there..u just need to be open minded..

    • Michelle Chua said

      Well said. Good advice.

    • Jo said

      $4 per hours is really not enough to survie in Singapore 4×8(hours a day)=32(dollars a day)
      Make it 30 days a month and you don’t rest at all(which you have to rest at least 1 day a week) 30×32=960 and you have to contribut to Cpf 960×0.77=739.20(amount you get after you deduct Cpf) how can even one person even live on such pay in Singapore in this time and age when everything is so expensive a plate of ecom rice with 2 meat and 1 veg most place already cost around $3 average so 3x30days=$90 for 1 meal a day… transport will cost for a average adult $80-$100 make it $100 a month on transport and other bill to pay where got enough to live so most of the time it not Singaporean is choosy or lazy about the job and the pay but is really left with no choice esp. those with family and parent to support even more charges will incur like school fee text book CCA medical etc and the list goes on… Think about it when you are the one facing the suitiation now what can you do when the employer prefer someone younger and cheaper be it Singaporean or FT when they the employer also have to cut cost to make it competive in the market? Or some job in the market tt is paying perhap $1800 to Singaporean but a FT come in and willing to work for $1500 who will the boss hired?

      • dyn said

        Hmm i did work as part timer as well bfore when i was jobless..the thing is tis is not about the money..but it’s about the attitude..thr is no easy job.. Do u think it is necessary to complain about having to stand for 5 – 8 hrs/day? In terms of money..there r plenty of opportunities outthr..ever consider working for the govrmnt? If u want bettr pay part time job..can try tuition or trainer? As a degree holder i believe all these choices shouldnt be a problem..But lets be sure tht any of the choices will require u to be as tired as standing 5 – 8 hrs/day…

  18. Hocky said

    Louis why don’t you try going overseas to find another place to live and work. Since you are still single it may be a lot easier. Contact us in Australia and we may be able to give you some good advice.

  19. papsmear said

    I think mac donald better, $6 per hour.

  20. Mossy said

    i’m working in service industry, we are having serious problem in recruiting service staffs and cook become these are the job local did not want. if u guys dun mind long working hrs, working weekend and super busy during meals hrs… feel free to contact me

  21. 龙的传人 said

    Have you went to ntuc look for LSS ?
    May be ah lim able to helpe you !
    Cleaner, bus dr’er …..choose at you want !
    More that $1000 /mth .

  22. Toratoratora said

    Louis, I truly feel sorry for you. I know how you feel. As suggested by one of the forumers, you should go and see your MP.
    Good luck to you, brother!

  23. Aaron Loy said

    I read this and think: hmm maybe that’s why you don’t have a job.

    • Michelle Chua said

      I read & think and I fully agreed with you. Let me share a Recent case in my office: A Singaporean in his late 40s with Master Degree was employed in my company, a foreign owned company. He comes in at 10 am and leaves at 5 pm sharp. He goes out for long morning coffee breaks, long lunch breaks, long afternoon coffee breaks. We have so much work to do that most of us stayed back in office to work until 9 or 10pm most of the nights. He lasted only 2 months.

      • BigHead said

        You are not being objective. You mean everybody who is out of job has bad working attitude? He already said his company closed down. Our semicon industries axed hundreds to a thousand jobs every year. You are going to say all of them retrenched are lazy engineers?

        When you see cases like Louis’ once in a while, you can say that it is an isolated case. However when cases like these come out every now and then, you have to look at economic causes, meaning that more and more companies are eyeing to move their enterprises elsewhere, or more and more companies are cost cutting and are employing foreign professionals.

  24. CheapSingaporeCitizen said

    You are not alone as currently there are infact thousands of native Singaporeans unemployed & jobless but the MSM has never reported or rather refuse to report this actual & true situation & the plight of these unemployed citizens.

    Another 4,170 Singaporean PMETs that were being retrenched during the 1st Qtr 2012 are still jobless!

    Go to website to check this out: ( & please support our online petition against high influx of FTs to Singapore currently!!!

    Some native singaporeans unable to find jobs are as young as 30 years of age with Masters Degree qualifications with some of them even have PHD & Doctorate Degrees!!!

    The situation is further aggravated by the more than 1.8 million of FTs + Foreign Workers whom are already in Singapore currently since 2003. I believe the massive & huge influx of FTs is still on-going as we speak and is going to continue unabated which necessitates the online petition against this “menace”!!!!

    And yet as you have cleverly pointed it out why is it so that our reported & declared unemployment figure is at a very low rate of only 2% (two percent) presently. As you are probably awared that the MIWs & our Ministers have performance KPIs (goals & targets set) to achieve & meet inorder to receive their 10 months of performance bonuses or more at the end of each FY.

    Yes…your guess is correct as one of the KPIs set is the unemployment rate set of =<2% which they have to achieve or meet at least at the 2% rate level if not below but no higher than that otherwise, the quantum of PB will be adversely affected!

    That is why you are seeing the declared & reported unemployment rate of only 2% and if they were to report any higher, they would have missed the KPI target set which inturn will affect their many months of PB to be collected, right?

    I believe this unemployment rate of only 2% as declared & reported is a curtailed, stifled, suppressed & quelled data & information if not how to explain despite the fact that 70% or 84,800 positions of total jobs (122,600 jobs) created went to foreigners instead of to Singaporeans as published and exposed by Bloomberg on 25 May 2012 (see link below):

    Moreover, there are a few thousand of graduates from the five (5) Polytechnics & the two (2) major Universities joining the workforce each year!

    How was this unemployment rate of only 2% being computed & derived at and what were the criteria being used? How did MOM define and differentiate between "employed persons" and "unemployed persons" & based on what assumptions made?

    Were this computation methodology audited by credible third party sources & who have verified, certified & ratified these calculated data or KPI to be correct & true?

    Now, with the current massive & huge influx of FTs still on-going & continue unabated, more & more singaporeans will be displaced, out of jobs & continue to be unemployed if left unchecked & uncontrolled as the situation is now very acute, drastic & dire than you could possibly imagine. Because there is simply too few jobs available or created to cater to everyone inclusive of the current 1.8 million FTs + FW as afterall Singapore is only a tiny "red dot" & she can't possibly accommodate the FTs from the whole world at large!!!

    All thanks to the 60.1% Daft Singaporeans who had voted in the MIWs & given them overwhelming power, rights & authority during GE 2011. Do not worry as I'm sure in time to come, your children, grand children & future generations of these Daft 60.1% will face the same predicament as us pretty soon…especially being displaced of jobs (good & decent jobs) by FTs!

    Continue to vote in MIWs at your own peril!

  25. ks9799 said

    join pap and stand for election on next general election and be mp.

    • bb said

      Joined PAP is too late eg Desmond Choo. The correct party to join is WP will be elected as the ruling party at the next election . Start with the WP town Council works . Contact Png EH.

  26. Disturbed Young Adult said

    i finished my diploma, couldnt get into local unis, took up a full time job and half a year later went for part time degree (this is the good thing about foreign unis. 3.2 is considered very good to them unlike singapore Unis that prefer to give our deserved spaces to foreigners to study). had to quit as the job after enduring 6 months as it required me to work even after office hours, answering the company phone that kept on ringing in my night classes.

    looked around for full time jobs but the requests i sent out were mostly unanswered. take note, NONE of the government related places i sent to replied me at all. Most of the government related places i applied for are in relevance to my degree that i am studying now. Only small companies had the time to entertain me. but they all politely refused to accept me even though i only applied for administration positions.

    agencies sent me temporary jobs to offices that are suffering backlogged, but between each one there is a long time frame of being unemployed. i continued to send resumes for full time jobs but still… Up til now, my father had been paying the monthly installment for my study loan. and my father is 63 this year, he is retiring this year too due to the fact that the company announced that they will cut his pay drastically after his birthday this year. Might as well, as my dad’s knee suddenly developed some kind of unknown symptom and doctor advised him to go for operation. So now i have to shoulder the study loan fully. I really had to thank my relatives. if not for their recommendation, i would not even have a chance to be working as a stable full timer now.

    the thing about holding temp jobs switching ard different offices is that i get to see the structures. and heed me, they are not all different. the previous one i went to, half of the accounts was filled with malaysians and the sales were all China graduates. And now, in my current company(which is very small), more than half are foreigners. of course, malaysians make up more than 50% of that half. counting the boss, less than a handful are Singaporeans!!! If not for my relatives recommendation, i would bet that the boss would be hiring another foreigner. So now im back to working alternate saturdays, and have to switch saturdays some times so that i can attend lectures on saturday. but i cant choose. no i cant. who is going to pay my study loan if i refuse to take up this job?

    on the other hand, My friends who are graduating from local Unis this year have been telling me fabulous stories of how their classmates have been getting $4000/month jobs, some even without interviews. and there were companies that required them to work 7 days a week. what the heck is this?! Is it even legal to get your employees to work 7 days a week?! Banks that were hiring shipping logistic degree holders to work in the office for more than $3000 per month. Dont even start counting the bonus that these people will get each year. I, a accountancy diploma holder cant even get a job at a bank!

    it is really becoming a big worry to me as to how will i get a job with my Media Degree considering the fact that my Uni is not one that SG GOV really likes. Not to mention that i applied many times before to the relevant places but not even a single pip-squeak reply was given to me. How are we to follow our dreams when the system is closing every single door to our dreams right at our faces?!

  27. Joshua said

    hurry come to Australia, engineers needed here, cleaners get >$18/hr…. early childhood teachers are lobbying for pay rise, fr current $18.5/hr. Mining workers get >90k per annum. after 40 y o, immigration points slide into impossibility unless you refugee/asylum seeker or business migration.

  28. 3rd World Nation said

    I realize there are many foreigners making apathetic comments here. It’s precisely because of you ‘foreign trash’ many Singaporeans are facing unemployment or depressed wages. Singapore is already 1st world, we don’t need foreigners to come here and ‘contribute’ to our development. Please return to your 3rd world country and develop it instead.
    Your departure is deeply appreciated.

  29. Failure Analysis..,.. said

    given a 29 year old NTU Singaporean engineeer or you (39 Singaporean NTU engineer) , i as an employer would still choose 29 year old NTU singapore engineer although you may demand the same pay, with the same qualification, while with much more experience

    first of all, a dept head tends to hire someone younger than him, for easier human resource & work management,

    to be frank, i have hired someone who is way older than me twice, and these people are so arrogant, demanding and having a bad attitude, older people tend to have higher ego (face) with themselves and ignore anyone or anything that happens around them.

    Older people also tend to work at a slower pace, cannot work midnight and less energitic in their job

    For same position of new grads / diplomas:

    1. more experience (which we dont need) = +1
    2. same pay (same) = 0
    3. qualification (same) =0
    4. energitic = -1
    5. attitude = -1
    6. ego = -1
    7. work load speed (slower pace) = -1
    8. less work load = -1

    For higher position:

    1. more experience (which we dont need) = +1
    2. same pay (same) = why still same pay, is it because you are not good?
    3. qualification (same) = why still same pay, is it because you are not good?
    4. energitic = -1
    5. attitude = -1
    6. ego = -1
    7. work load speed (slower pace) = -1
    8. less work load = -1

    That’s why climbing up the corporate ladder before you hit 35 is critical in your FA industry.

    FA of IC chips/packaging dont require REALLY A LOT OF experiences , seriously

    ask yourself, 20 years of your experience is 5 years REAL experience X repeat 4 times = 20 years?

    and IMHO, anyone who worked in FA industry for more than 5 years is enough, regardless of chip technology fabrication process or reliability requirement…

  30. ACK said

    Bro – I feel for you – me also the same story – i joined the casino as a croupier during my difficult times. Now i found a job (but not the ones you intend to stay long). Why not consider to join MBS/Croupier? Maybe you got chance to be promoted and transferred to a more suitable position.

  31. Ng Ek Seng said

    sad…in the FnB industry also the pay isnt good…and its very complex and political..even though ur previous paying job was paying you that amount..when u go to another place..ur going to start from a lower position..unless ur better than the chef..i’ve been in the FnB as a Chef for a long time now..salary is like neither here nor here..working hours getting longer n longer..10-12hrs a day…and sad to say if i have a family with kids..i wont survive in sg for would take me like almost half my life time or more to save up to buy a house..

  32. USS IOWA said

    join WP and stand for election on next general election and be mp.

  33. TaxiUncle said

    I have nothing but empathy for you as I myself went thru the same experience when I was jobless before becoming a taxidriver. In 2009, before RWS opened and was during mass recruitment, I went for a walk-in interview during one of the job fairs conducted by RWS. They were recruiting for theme park operators for the Universal Studios theme park in Sentosa. I was in dire need of any kind of employment as despite having 20 yrs PMET work experience and was an overseas grad in Economics & Finance, I couldnt even get any job for asking salary of $1.5k per month.
    At the job fair, I noticed lots of Pinoys , all looking like domestic helpers and I was one of the few Singaporeans there , dressed in long sleeves and a tie. I was then told by one of the RWS staff that they were recruiting massively due to the soon-to-be opening theme park and were giving out on-the-spot employment contracts.
    My turn came and I was faced with a smirky female RWS HR manager, who proceeded to throw me super-tough interview questions and scenarios , as if I was interviewing for a management level post. However, I aced it (since i was a HR practitioner during my PMET days, before my retrenchment in 2008). Easy-peasy for someone experience in this line of work. Guess what? Despite being told that the theme park operator job pays only $6 per hour and was part-time work at 22 hrs per week, I still desperately wanted the job. The idiotic RWS HR interviewer, at the end of it, just gave me a quirky smile and said “we let u know”, which translated to “no chance in hell”!
    When i left despondently, I saw a queue of the Pinoys all being given their employment contracts on the spot while I, a desperately out-of-work Singaporean, was simply neglected and made to look stupid!
    In 2009, I must have attended more than 20 such job fairs and industry previews for IR jobs at e2i, submitted countless job applications and resumes and written applications or other job submissions to e2i staff without a single reply or email from both MBS or RWS, let alone getting any proper job interview. How many of you Sporeans were like me then attending those useless “industry previews” without getting any reply? Do u guys remember the ordeal we went thru? I certainly did because the PAP govt proudly boasts that there were 68,000 jobs available for Sporeans yet how many of us unemployed Sporeans were actually taken in by the IRs? In terms of percentage staff count, I bet u my last dollar that the IRs were shunning locals and all opting for foreigners like pinoys and prc and indians and malaysians , whom they dont have to contribute CPF and find them easier to hire.
    Look at the same scenario in the casinos in Macau and u will see that they actually employ their locals first but here it is the opposite and locals always lose out to fts due to our discrimatory govt policies against Sporeans!
    I also clearly remember a lot of govt & PAP propaganda about helping jobless Sporeans with their constant proclamations in the media about “retraining” and spending lots of tax-dollars on “SPUR training” etc etc. This is all a lot of bull!! Each time any Sporean goes to e2i, they will recommend to u to register for a “upgrading course” and offer incentives like free course fees and even pay a daily allowance. However, all these “SPUR” training courses, conducted by WDA and e2i and SNEF are all a waste of time bec no employer recognises it and u can never get a job on the course qualification itself as employer have an abundance of fts to employ from. The govt however uses all the SPUR progammes as a tool merely to advertise to the public at large that it is doing a huge part in helping jobless Sporeans so it is no better than a sales pitch.
    I remember going for one useless course for 8 days called Certified Service Professional. Complete waste of time bec they basically just teach u to become like a waiter and adopt a friendly customer service mindset. Did i get any job after that, even as a bell-hop? rubbish, not a single employer give me any call-up!
    Don’t believe me? Go to MBS and RWS, see for yourself and do a headcount to see how many Sporeans vs fts are in their employ. You see, so long as we have this unthinkingly selfish PAP govt , we will never get a job we want because in the end, the government don’t care for Sporeans and prefer that we all kick the bucket faster so they can continue to replace us all with the cheap and younger fts!

  34. Stay hopeful said

    A production operator earns more than you. So does a data-entry clerk. Flyer distributor, telemarketer. Become an independent sales professional. Apply to MOE to become teacher or teaching assistant, become a tutor. There are opportunities out there brother. Ride a donkey while searching for a horse.

  35. Norman yeo said

    I sympathize with you and i think that blaming the government or anyone else wont do you any good. There are people with no qualification higher than primary school but still thriving well in the society as a multimillionaire. Its not uncommon especially in Singapore.

    The number of millionaires have raised quite a bit over the years. This implies that Singapore still have opportunities roaming around for everyone, even the less privelleged.

    I can only say, don’t give up and start looking around and asking what you can do to make things better for others. Because only when you have a value to add will people to have you on board.

    Will just like to end it off, it may not be nice to hear this but you will only be more miserable if you blame others instead of thinking what you can do. It is the easier way out to your problems but it doesnt make you life better.

  36. Polictics and National Issues put aside. I just

    I’m 34 this year and I’m also in the manufacturing sector with a part time Mechatronics Degree since 2001
    Materials Engineering was one of the more specialized core module during our Era.
    Assumingly, you would be working in Process, Supplier Quality or R&D department respectively.

    You mentioned that you were retrenched in 2010 and that time you were 37yrs old.
    Economics situations in 2010 were better than now and 37yr old with a degree being unemployed seems rare.

    I felt the root cause of your situation might be due to a few elements below.

    1) Art of Resume Writing – If you tell me your resume that you send to all the jobs are the same throughout the years then it’s a big mistake.
    The purpose of a resume is to get you the interview and not the job. What we write in our resume reflects our past experience and salary scale. At your prime of 37yrs/Materials Engineering, you would be drawing a SGD$5k-$6k monthly gross. Imagine today you put this past salary scale into ur resume and apply for a $2k job. Do you think HR will give a damn and ask you to come for interview?
    Answer is NO..why? simply because everyone has this mindset that you apply for this job out of desperation and there’s no true loyalty that you will stay in the company when the day a better offer comes. Always update and change your area of expertise with respect to the job that you are applying. Yes, there is a legistlation against overly declare of pay but there is no law saying about over declaring your jobscope! Since your company has already closed down, who can verify what you do there? Paywise, yes by IRAS and CPF but jobscope? hard. So learn to alter them accordingly. If today you are apply for a Process Engineer job, state in your resume that you have done some parts of Process Engineering and work closely with Production and managed some Assistant Engineers. This would reflect not only your skillset but also your leadership. Who gives a shit whether you really do or not.

    2) Interview Skills – Even when you go for interviews, the number one question that interviewers might ask you is “Why were you unemployed after the retrenchment?” Well.. you could tell them, you started out a small overseas venture with a friend with the retrenchment benefits that you’ve received, however business wasn’t as good as you think and you decided to pull out and find a job for stability. This answer is so much better than “Oh.. I rested a while, go for a holiday before I start looking for jobs, doing part times to meet ends” I don’t your interviewer will ask you for ACRA reg no, if he really interested, you could tell him you are only a silent investor and the company is registered under your partners’ name.

    3) Resourcefulness –
    Did you know Starbucks pays $7 per hr and Watami Group pays $8-$9 for a dishwasher?
    What was your reason for working in a library for $4/hr job? Was it because the library near yor home?
    Have you talked to recrutiment agencies? surf through job ads?

    4) Ego –
    I find this is the hardest of all.
    Have you tried calling your excolleagues on their current companies whether they have openings?
    Have you tried calling your exclassmates in NTU whom I believe some might already be Managers or Snr Managers?
    Referral is one of the fastest and more assured way of landing a job.
    Employers view this as a Win-Win situation, first the employee who recommended you would know that you fits the jobscope.
    Then he/she would stay longer in the company because now their frens are here and they will help you settle in.

    5) Alternative Career Switch / Setup your own business
    I know some folks did that after retrenchment.
    Drive Taxi, Sell properties, insurance, MLM, Forex whatever.
    How agressive you are in your survival skills only you know.

    My friend, the sky is not as dark as you think.
    If today you are 45yrs old, I might say its 10x harder but 39yrs old is supposed to be a man’s PRIME age in his career.
    Don’t waste it

    • its really very difficult to secure a job said

      well said…. i give ur above recommendation a LIKE….
      FYI despite adopting ur above suggestion… it took me 3 full shit years to secure a full time job …….

      it made me no choice but to really believe in luck… KARMA

  37. “Drive Taxi, Sell properties, insurance, MLM, Forex whatever.
    How agressive you are in your survival skills only you know.”

  38. iai said

    The word “librarian” is wrongly applied. Librarians are professionals and need to have a professional degree in addition to a first degree. Librarians are thus paid on par like pharmacists in the civil service. There is a professional body Library Association of Singapore which among other things, works towards the upgrading of the profession. The “PT librarian” is actually library attendants where “N” level qualifications suffice. I am surprised TS an NTU grad could not see the distinction between a professional librarian and a library attendent. Naturally he is overqualified and to be honest, deserves much more.

  39. iTORTLE said

    Become a sales promoter with us. If you work hard, you will earn much more!

  40. Dogmeat said

    You obviously have difficulty expressing yourself past writing one liner sentences.

    Stick with factory line jobs.

  41. iearnmyownkeep said

    I foresee this situation many years back : Degree holder getting more and more difficult in getting a job , older PMET getting retrenched and finding it hard to get job. My solution – Why work for others….., therefore I set up my own business and now I earn my own keep. No one is there to retrench me. 🙂

  42. knn said

    Damn have to work 1.5 hours to earn a burger meal.
    KNN this gahman muz b voted out b4 2 late.

  43. its really very difficult to secure a job said

    guess i went through the pain too….after graduation i went through retrenchment for my very first job. left wif no options i keep going for temp jobs and hold multiple free lance jobs with surveying companies etc…. my income fluctuates……guess i am more fortunate… i got converted from tempt to perm from one of my random assignment and my freelance influx is still consistant… surviving on one job is really insufficient in sg….

    understanding that u really need alot of luck and opportunities to secure a job … is not that one is lazy but purely no luck…..i know the pain….
    pray more ….. dun give up…….

    for those who are holding a permanent position must really cherish what u have….the grass is always greener on the other side ..coz it is full of shit… good luck everyone

  44. piss said

    Why don’t join SAF, Defense got so much budget to burn until they throw away money and under pay all the NSF.
    Lots of regulars are rich and are shaking their legs at home now doing nothing but watch TV.
    Lots of Generals we know are now bz talking c0ck n psychoing us how good d systems are. I already decided to rebel.
    I know one for sure, in Libya, Iraq, Egypt. All generals who talked rubbish and pay the peasants peanuts b sentenced some days. Your time will come as I AM ONE OF THE REALLY PISS ONE.

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