THE TEMASEK TIMES

News and views from an unique perspective

Suggestions to solve structural unemployment in PMET sector

Posted by temasektimes on August 7, 2012

Dear Chuan-Jin,

Re: PME Sector employment – I want to make two suggestions.

(A) From my experience – there is quite a lot of structural unemployment in PME sector. On one hand there are jobs waiting for people and on other hand there are people looking for jobs.

One peculiarity of PME sector is quite often employers need prior experience for the job. Initiative such as Caliberlink are welcome but I would suggest MOM implement Apprenticeship / Internship scheme specifically for PME Sector which allow experienced PME (after having gone through necessary training and reskilling) to try new job for six months on apprenticeship / internship basis.

During the six months – the employer pay 1/3 of salary + extra tax incentives, PME employee take pay cut of 1/3 as recognition of investment in his experience and perhaps Government fund the 1/3 salary (subject to certain upper cap) for the six month period.

That way it will further incentivize employers to look for Singaporean PME’s before bringing in foreigners.

The other suggestion I have is:

(B) If employer can really not find a local Singaporean for the PME position through their own hiring mehtods, they should be made to list that job on caliberlink website (onestop portal) before they can apply for EP for foreigner. The job should be on caliberlink portal for at least 2/3 weeks before company can apply EP for a foreigner. Also, get the companies to maintain records of how many Singaporean applicants were received and why they were rejected etc. and MOM do a random spot audit just to prevent abuse of EP’s.

This will create enough disincentive for company to stop abusing the practice of prefering certain nationality (as it happens in IT departments of many banks in Singapore) and at the same time give them enough flexibility to best talent sourcing where necessary.

I feel these two steps together with the existing measures will help take away lot of grudges that is out there in our Singaporean brothers / Sisters in PME sector.

JACK LAM

*The above was first posted as a comment on Mr Tan Chuan-Jin’s Facebook page

7 Responses to “Suggestions to solve structural unemployment in PMET sector”

  1. Singapuraboi said

    Jack good attempt but don’t waste ur time with this suggestion. Govt always complain that Healy Amy locals apply for the available jobs. But yet in the other hand we know that not to be true. There is actually double standards in hiring. During job interviews the locals are given an ugly picture of the job such as long hours and lots of multi tasking in areas that r impossible for a human to even manage. All these is skewed so that they can hire the foreigners who don’t incur cpf which makes it very expensive. They rather pay a hundred more to the foreigner than pay the 20%cpf for the locals. U should suggest that even the foreigners have to pay cpf to level the playing field like in US where everyone pays social security regardless u r citizen or a student in internship. Importantly, fixed wage guidelines for every job and industry to prevent unfair hiring practices. These suggestions have already fallen in deaf ears what makes u think they would listen to a suggestion that requires a monetary outlay on the govt’s part?

  2. Singapuraboi said

    And to further add what I said earlier, dont u find it odd for our givt with reputation for corporatising the art of government to not want to impose cpf on the foreigners? This is additional dollars to national coffers. Yet foreigners don’t pay cpf, so isn’t obvious this migration policy is just a belligerent act to frustrate the locals and to beat us into submission? If it is about money like we always think they r about, don’t u think they would have imposed cpf on foreigners?

  3. Victor said

    Jack … sorry to pour cold water over your suggestions… We can dream on. You are talking as if the Government are totally ignorant to the ground situation. Unfortunately Jack, they are fully aware and had refused to take any action allowing the situation to escalate.

    For some reasons, they are happy watching us, the not rich or elite class suffer.

  4. oldguard said

    Jack, I worked for an MNC, the HR always look for cheaper alternative, direction coming from the top, I see many stupid FT from Philippine, so call engineer, really not qualify at all and is fit to do a technician job. Still not up to mark. Do you expect our local graduate to start at the same salary scales as them after spending so much money in our so call first class U. Philippine U can never compare with our U and still employer hire them because it is cheaper. One advantages the stupid FT is that they speak English and good at carry balls. I suggest our gahmen provide scholarship to our local to U in Philippine, India, Mynmar, China, cheap but sound nice ‘Scholarship’

    • B said

      I’m from the building industry. The scenario is exactly the same. Cheap but inefficient Filipinos are utilized to save on labour costs. Corners are cut to stay competitive. ” Can’t be help “. ( they don’t speak well though ).

  5. deaf frog said

    Quote from the man in “white” zorro outfit – “we are deaf to criticisms.”
    May be Jack Lam should be “better, faster and cheaper”, then the structural unemployment problem for PMET will be solved?
    “What do you think?”

  6. Ro said

    Good suggestion.
    The job creation is what the government needs to do and has done and at 2 % unemployment, I do not know what is the complain. Job fit to the person applying cannot be matched by the government. Hiring the right person is almost the single most important decision of management. Saving of a couple of hundred bulks is not a concern if the person has good attitude and want to do more and better.

    I appauld the writer in his suggestion for a solution. He is much better than a group of people just compaining that their birth rights entitles them to a good life. Sorry for being rude, but I believe in having control of my own fate, driving my own success and not depending on the government to protect me from competition. And I am thankful for the thousand of unskilled foreign laborers that clear my plates, clean the flat and take order in coffee shop. Obviously most of them have poor command of English and the crashed of culture is inevitable. But I am thankful because most Singaporean does not considered it right for them to do these jobs. Let not be unkind to them.

    And let us stopped complaining but encourage people like Jack Lam to provide possible solution.

    Well done jack.

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