Young Singaporean Malay Arts graduate unable to find a job in Singapore
Posted by temasektimes on August 24, 2012
Recently married last Dec, I have been unemployed since 2009 when I was asked to leave HDB and was not able to find a job since. Previously, I was working with the Central Singapore CDC.
My wife is a teacher in a primary school and she is a diploma holder who is currently doing her part-time degree locally.
As mentioned by a number of contributors to your website, the Malay graduates like myself face a lot of difficulty in getting jobs here and most usually end up as teachers.
In fact, many of my classmates in university became teachers either by choice or by circumstances and many are unhappy due to the high stress, heavy workload nature of the work but are unable to leave as they are unable to find work elsewhere.
As a diploma holder, my wife has been under a lot of stress mentally and emotionally as she is doing roughly or more work compared to her colleagues who are degree holders while earning a fraction of their pay.
As for myself, I have been applying a lot of job openings and been sending resumes over the past 2 years without success.
I have even called up many employment agencies like Adecco, Kelly, etc asking them for job-matching but was unsuccessful.
The reason that they gave was that my degree was too generic and without any skills so it was hard for them to job match. I replied that I am very much willing to learn and start from the bottom and even take up diploma level work at low pay but they said that their clients are afraid of my salary expectations or that I will leave as soon as I get a better offer.
Even temporary jobs like data entry are hard to get.
After discussing with my wife, she encourages me to find work abroad i.e. Australia, New Zealand, Canada etc as it is impossible for me to get work here and with the ever rising cost of living, both of us are living from hand to mouth with her meagre salary as a teacher. We also believe that with our qualifications, we can earn a better living and enjoy a better life elsewhere.
My wife and I plan to go to Australia this coming June to survey the place and hopefully link up with anybody who can help up.
Just to share, my father was an Indonesian migrant who came to Singapore in the early 70s seeking a better life here in Singapore but after 40 years, he is still a foreigner without a PRdespite numerous applications and appeal to the then-PM Goh through the PMO. It sickens me that other migrants without any roots in Singapore can easily obtain PR and citizenship just because of their ‘supposed’ economic worth.
However, he has always told me that if you can’t live in Singapore, then we have to seek a better life elsewhere like what he tried to do 40 years ago. So in way I’m looking to follow his footsteps.
* Letter adapted from transitioning.org, a non-profit society specially set up to cater to the emotional needs of the unemployed Singaporeans.