1. First of all, thanks for allowing us to interview you online Subramaniam (not his real name) and can you provide us with some background information about yourself?
I am a Singaporean aged 53. I have a Masters degree from a UK university. I have been in the IT and Education industries for more than twenty years. I am married with 2 children.
2. What was your last occupation and you have told me that you were unemployed for 2 years, can you tell us more about this and also your job search experience?
My last job was teaching enrichment programmes in secondary schools. This started to dry up over the last three years as schools started to be choosy and go for the bigger players in the market.
I have written so many applications and letters to all kinds of people including politicians in office but to no avail. They just could not care less, as often I do not get any reply. I can count the number of interviews I attended over this period in one hand!
3. You have told me that you are currently jobless for more than six months, what did you do in order to survive? Did you also approach the CDC for assistance?
I am lucky I have a working wife, so I still have food on the table. CDC is useless as they do not refer people like me to employers and their own databases of jobs are often not updated. I do not qualify for any welfare assistance.
4. Did you attend any interviews during the past 12 months and why do you think you are unsuccessful so far?
I have attended two first interviews only over this period and my qualifications have been the stumbling block as they were only keen on taking cheaper stuff – even for part-time jobs.
5. Tell us a bit more about what you have learnt from your jobless experience and how it has impacted your family.
Our society does not have compassion and they treasure foreigners more than locals, from helping them in times of need to offering them jobs, just to save on the costs (because our govt has given them the quota to play with). We are under stress at home to perform and seriously think about moving overseas when my children are older as we would rather be third class citizens in another country than in our own!
6. What do you think you could have done to shorten the unemployment period?
I could have taken a course in Counselling as there seems to be a lot of social problems inflicted upon society by the government i.e. Casinos, lack of job opportunities, influx of foreign trash etc.
7. Do you think that Singapore is now a more difficult place to make a living?
Definitely yes, as there isn’t enough jobs to go around let alone space for 6 million on this little island. The government does not know how to create jobs and built two casinos to remedy that. Unfortunately, the jobs created were given to foreigners!
8. What do you think the government can do to alleviate the current employment situation?
They should suspend the quotas on foreigners of all kinds and look at job creation for Singaporeans (born and bred here). Organisations, especially the Statutory Boards and Civil Service should give preference to us PMETs rather than youngsters all the time. We are more likely to offer better solutions than green horns straight out of school.
9. Many people have blamed foreigners for competing jobs with us, what is your view on this?
Yes, that is definitely true as employers prefer these FTrash to us because these people will work longer hours than us for less. Most employers will cheat when they can – just to save on costs and the system is in place for that using these quotas and I personally know of so many cheating employers.
10. Lastly, what is your advice for those who are still jobless and feeling down?
Getting a Diploma in Counselling or something similar can enhance one’s options. Upon completion, take up any kind of job that gives you some sort of income to tide you by. When you are down – the ONLY WAY IS UP!!!
End of interview