Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Sunday January 20th 2019

Local jobless graduate of 18 months: “Full time positions for foreigners and contracts for Singaporeans!”

I graduated from a local university and my career path is somewhat similar as the author. It took me 1 year and 1 month before I got my first job at a MNC for $1800.

Median pay for grads few yrs ago was $3300 and I am only asking for $2600.

Needless to say, in the MNC, senior staff are FT and support staff local because they need the locals to meet quota to hire FT.

What made me more upset is that, we locals are filled in lower jobs and very often they don’t offer full time positions to us.

Locals are treated like second class citizens, contractors. I was upset why FT are given full time roles and locals contract roles and THERE IS NOTHING THAT THE GOV IS DOING TO RESOLVE this problem

My second job was also in a MNC, same case FT all in senior management and as a local put on a support staff position – again I WAS PUT ON CONTRACT again.

And after 2 years they told me they don’t want me anymore because of reorganisation.

Therefore as a non full time stuff, there is no retrenchment package.

Previously when the company restructures, the FT were given job placement internally either in another dept or in their home country. When it comes to me, I was just told “sorry, we cant hold you anymore due to change in management”.

I had since been looking for a role for more than 18 months and to no avail. Be it within the same or outside the industry, I don’t seem to be able to get anything.

I wrote in to MOM and they say its my CV problem when I had already engaged professional consultant to advise on my current problem therefore I’m not convinced by them.

They helped me contact some of the employers which I applied for jobs in sg job bank then the HR told them “yes, we received and reviewed the CV and we find the CV interesting and suitable. However, we are not considering him for this position now but we will keep his CV should there be a suitable position”.

When MOM told me this, I was upset it is just a gracious way of saying sorry we are not shortlisting him but the MOM staff still take it very positively believing that they will really keep my profile in their mind.

I looked through the JD and the required exp, I think I am of a gd match but I’m not even been shortlisted at all and there is nothing MOM can do to help a poor local like me.

In their email to me when I question them on the minister saying to develop a Singaporean core workforce and for the SG job bank, jobs are for the local workforce (priority).

Their response is like a copy from somewhere FAQ answer quoting that SG job bank is only a channel for prospective employers to advertise but they can’t force them to hire from candidates that apply via the job bank.

I feel that such statements are just telling me that the existence of the job bank is redundant. I can go jobstreet or other sites and I still meet with the same competition.

There is no advantage at all.

I’m very upset about the situation but there is nothing I can do about it.

I feel sour when the news keep reporting about the low unemployment rate, tight labour market and seeing FT are earning the salary, bring their whole family to Singapore etc when I cant even support myself or make a living in Singapore as a local.


Editor’s note: This article was retrieved from a comment posted here.

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25 Responses to “Local jobless graduate of 18 months: “Full time positions for foreigners and contracts for Singaporeans!””

  1. tt says:

    I fully empathise with similarly I used to work in MNC where management are helmet by pr or foreigners but converted to Singaporean. I am bullied by the FT in my company and my boss only listen to his own country people. End up I resign without a job after suffering much bullying.

    • Tony says:

      I empathize with your situation. It is not easy being a new graduate looking for work in any country. Fortunately, Singapore does not have the high unemployment rates that exist in many countries in Europe, especially for 20-30 year olds. You have your government to thank you controlling immigration so that unemployment is not over 10% and you are not unemployed for 1-3 years.

      You should also thank you government for attracting these MNCs to Singapore and investing billions and billions of dollars in the banking, shipping, resources, etc industries. They add global opportunities to the GLC and government roles and employ tens of thousands of Singaporeans in good paying jobs.

      I would also encourage you to appreciate that it is natural for the command and control positions to be filled at these MNCs by their nationals – in the same way you would not expect Americans, Filippinos or Egypitians to be running Temasek or Singtel.

      Finally, I applaud your drive and persistence in your building a better life for you and your families – just like the coolies who came to Singapore 100+ years ago and have created 4th generation families – and today’s Indonesian maids and Bangladeshi construction workers and cleaners who work 24-28 days a month for a third of your pay.

      The world is your oyster my friend. Filipino BPOs are taking more and more MNC middle and low level administration roles from Singapore. Go forth to America, Britian, China – or stay here – and fight for the best salary a business owner is willing to pay you for your skills and the value you deliver. Or start your own business and stop asking your government for an assured pay check. Whatever you decide, I wish you the very best of success.

  2. Derrick says:

    I regret so much to come back to this sick island.

  3. FS says:

    Why must work for MNC who gives priority to FT then? Don’t blame others but do some self reflection. Have you given priority to local SME in consideration?

  4. Der says:

    I understand what the author is saying. I went to WDA and this guy told me they cant do much. The govt can do much and the govt cant put a gun to companies and say hire Singaporeans. Companies hire FT’s and their own kind as it is cheaper. FT’s are supporting each other. Getting a temp to contract job is also so difficult. There are many temp jobs of 3 or 6 months. But what is the point when after 3 or 6 months you need to look for job again. PAP’s policies is destroying the lives of Singaporeans. If the next election Singaporeans wont elect PAP out Singaporeans are doomed!

  5. tsk says:

    Perhaps it’s time for the us to wake up and understand that there is a market in play, and we should stay competitive. Instead of complaining to the gov that they aren’t doing anything, perhaps you should improve your cv to stay competitive. The only reason why FT are valued is because they are foreign TALENT. If you are better than them, why would they hire them when they cost more?
    And please, them saying your CV is interesting is not the answer you are looking for. Would you rather hire someone with a perfect CV or an interesting CV?

  6. Benedict says:

    Instead of pushing the blame to the government, have you considered upgrading yourself or try looking for jobs in SME companies. In addition, you can always start your own business or give tuition to support yourself. Every company, whether MNC or local SME do have quotas for foreign employees and it could just mean that you the company that you are working with previously does not appreciate your talent.

  7. Jun hao says:

    With your cry baby attitude, there’s absolutely no surprise why you’re not finding the opportunities you feel like you’re entitled to.

    Do you honestly think that companies would specifically go through the trouble of applying for work visas and pay relocation fees to foreign talents if there was a capable local candidate?

    If even the MOM says that it’s a problem with your personal achievements and CV, I’d be inclined to think that the issue lies within you.

    Your argument is flawed and article riddled with spelling mistakes.

    It’s not hard to see why you’re struggling to find something that you do not deserve.

    My 2 cents.

  8. Shankao says:

    I don’t agree with companies putting upfront their own agendas, but there’s a bit (maybe a lot, given that the article is a first person story) of personal opinion here. It doesn’t indicate a national trend.
    Also, this data:

    Singapore unemployment rate: 2%
    That, compared with the 25% of Spain, gives a bit of perspective to the matter

  9. omg says:

    Ppl who Singaporean jus thking ABT work less and get high paid..tat without extra abilities..don’t blame government or another other PPL bcz u are suck…

  10. Joe Wong says:

    Many Singaporeans are suffering the same fate. At the factory where are work, the permanent staff are mostly non-citizens while the citizens are on contract work.

    And educated Singaporeans know that the low unemployment figure mask the true picture of unemployment in Singapore.

    There are more than 400,000 Singaporeans who are economically inactive – long term unemployed.

    But the IBs are right. There is no point crying over it. They are not going to change anything.

    Singaporeans need to vote for change if they want the situation to improve.

  11. Paul says:

    Wow, what an entitled little …..! Why don’t you talk about the qualifications and yrs of experience of all this FT that get management. Are they recent college grads like you? Don’t you think they also started their careers with contracts and salaries lower than yours? But worked their way up, got masters degrees in world class universities? For future reference, ppl that work their asses of to get where they are don’t like hiring ppl with entitled attitude. Get a grip on reality, you are the only one that can change the situation. Instead of doing useless things like complain to the MOM (do you really think that in any other country ppl go complain to their ministry of manpower? Hahaha) go learn something from this FT.

  12. Shengy says:

    Hi, would you mind showing your CV/ LinkedIn, and also some information on the jobs you’ve been applying for?

  13. Andrew says:

    Reading through your whining, I think it’s obvious why you’re not hired. Perhaps it’s time to invest in a mirror and do some reflection cos you obviously suck. What a joke. If the FTs don’t come to run the show, you think there will be an MNC for you to interview at?

  14. Ash says:

    C’mon fellow Singaporeans (complaining ones) stop blaming the PAP for the suck-dick government policy although it’s not wrong, do u know that to hire a FT requires the employer to employ at least 3-4 SINGAPORE CITIZEN or PR to make it possible? U guys already have so much chance & I should say much easier to get a job in Singapore compare to FT. So stop complaining, stop complaining that they snach ur job, do your own reflection, if you as a employer, Will u employ a person who can make more value to your company no matter which country they are from or you u just choose Singaporean because you are a Singaporean, reflect yourself, there are so much jobs vac like nurse / restaurant / workers / technical persons / engineers , will u willing to go for it? All of u guys are plain lazy to work hard for a job, dreaming a lepak high pay job, let me tell u guys, it will only happened in ur dreams, so face the truth, if u don’t work hard for it u won’t get the dream job simple as that, so stop blaming others just because u are lazy & hope everything you want you will get it!

  15. uni says:

    i’m a resource manager for an MNC and also a FT. Frankly, we prefer hiring locals/PR, problem is, there’s not much available with the skill set we need.

    often times, we would search for several months before we resort to hiring FTs which are more costly and had to go through a long line of paper work.

    hiring FT is not by choice but a necessity. there’s NO REASON why companies wouldn’t want to hire locals or PRs.

    Also why only apply to MNCs? These companies run a competitive business and would almost always hire experienced talents. They do have a graduate programme but the requirements are insane.

    There are local companies to start with and get valuable experience.

    Stop blaming the companies, the government or the FTs. If others can make it, why can’t you?

  16. tinkletot says:

    While i am a Singaporean too, & i have a few pointers to shed light on. This is given that i have been working since i graduated from poly. Although i have since gotten my Masters & i have been juggling work n studies through Uni.
    There are foreigners who only earn less than $300/mth
    I have been hired by jobs who offered me $1500/mth in spite of not being a fresh graduate.
    I have not been hired by MNCs but if you’re not happy with either pay or job description, why accept the job in the first place?
    Just a few things that puzzle me about what has been written, is all.

  17. Genesis says:

    I think it depends on the industry you are in, not every industry is like that.

    I am a Singaporean, working for a Western company in the digital tech industry. In our industry, there are not many contract jobs, most are permanent basis. There’s a lot of locals and fresh grads being hired at somewhat comfortable salary range. Some are thriving and there’s even a shortage of local talents with relevant experience, thus causing these companies to look at FTs. In general, there are a lot of opportunities in our line and its a good mixture of locals and FTs.

    Most of the foreign companies are here not because they want to do business in Singapore only (too tiny, cannot sustain). They are here because they see Singapore as a good APAC/SEA base to do business regionally or in Asia as whole. Thus, its impossible not to have FTs here, unless there’s no foreign investment. In a way, our prosperity has benefited many of them, but without foreign investment, Singapore cannot prosper. There are pros and cons. While appropriate government intervention is crucial, they cannot control everything and make things perfect.

    I think for big MNCs, especially in traditional industries like banking, finance, IT, there are too many hierarchy and loopholes, things are more rigid and roles can be vey niche. So if you are applying for such roles, you can be sure the competition for that role or salary will be huge due to the international corporate culture (and politics). Maybe the government can find ways to intervene in certain sectors but I doubt so, it’s difficult and many things are at stake.

    The hierarchy structure in most tech companies are much flatter. There are not many giant-type MNCs, most are startups or mid-large size. Thus roles are much broader and skills/experience are more transferrable. Locals are hired not just based on experience, but also because of our strong bilingualism, good general knowledge and adaptability to people/cultures in the region, able to work and communicate with them (Singaporeans are quite well-travelled as compared to some of our neighbours). These are just some of the things I’ve observed.

    From this viewpoint, I think we need to see what are the market demands, what is our competitive advantage and how we can harness it. Times and economics are changing. If you are finding hard to compete in a particular sector or role, maybe you should look a more promising one where you stand a good chance to compete. You might need to do some research or homework on this.

    By the way, I also think most SMEs are supportive of hiring locals, except for some black sheeps who want to hire foreigners for cheap, but we can always report to MOM or choose to leave for another SME, it’s like we are not lacking of it. SMEs don’t necessarily offer low pay, it might even pay better than MNCs depending on industry, so need to open to more options.

  18. Eddy says:

    In one simple word. You have a Hypocritical leader. Either you rise against or pack up and leave.

  19. sal says:

    Its about policies, good policies will protect Sporeans being discriminate by Foreign companoes. Its look like Sporeans are the 2nd class citizens in their own country.

  20. cc says:

    “Full time positions for foreigners and contracts for Singaporeans!”

    Well, that’s because their salaries are much lower than reported to the Government. The practice continues.

    There are many who should be on Employment Pass pretending to be on S pass. Their duties are those of Employment Pass, but they are given S pass due to the company giving them the job title of assistant etc, making it sound lowly when its not. That’s because companies are unwilling to pay Employment Pass salary.

  21. Mockingjay says:

    I had recently hired for two full time positions having a 100K + annual salary. An do you know what? Not a single local who applied had the required skillset or experience. End result, I filled up the positions with Indian FT already here in SG on EP.

  22. Wei Sheng says:

    The hiring Quota got loop hole. This loop hole allows companies to discriminate locals by giving locals only contract position. To close the loop hole, the quota should enforce permanent position for locals.I suggest management level quota system to enforce minimum quota in hiring locals in management level.

  23. left Singapore says:

    Simple, your parents or you did not leave Singapore and kept faith in the system and now feel cheated. If you were born in the 50s- 1980, you could have left on your own merit. Regardless of education levels, places were open to Singaporeans with the desire to emigrate. The US had a liberal policy up and until 2004-2005 for even low skilled folks. The older generation were blind to the government’s excesses and had a “as long as you shut up you are fine,” and blamed JBJ and CSJ for being “stupid and speaking out.” Look at the comments here crucifying the author without acknowledging the government’s role… typically Singaporean… As for those born later and complaining about borders being shut down, yes, blame your parents for not seizing opportunities earlier!

    Anyway, in the past, those who leave are “ungrateful,” ten the morphed into “quitters.” The west is the big bad wolf, all “Ang Moh” and “Mat Sallehs” are racist towards us (Singaporeans are never racist, right, the country has no racism right?) and Singapore is best—yea riiiiggght; all government propaganda and PAP brainwashing. Now that it is hitting home despite the fact that you are the obedient kind who shuts up and puts up, you are STILL getting your pockets squeezed dry and now people are waking up and looking to emigrate abroad. Whoops too late, with global borders shutting down and immigration rules being tightened and made more difficult. Here is a question, WHYD DID YOU NOTUSE YOUR BRAIN EARLIER AND LEAVE THE COUNTRTY, WHY DID YOU LISTEN TO PAP PROPAGANDA AND BRAINWASHING? Singaporeans are doomed to ever be subservient, complain, moan and cry but will NEVER DO ANYTHING about it—thanks to the dead lee Kuan Yew’s 30 year plan and he SUCCEEEDED Wow, what a man!

    I left, call me whatever names you want, I left more than 2 decades ago and am happy I did! ALL MY PREDICTIONS came true, sadly, everyone of them! I am not there to suffer it though.

  24. SAFF says:

    Why haven’t the PAPpies stopped flooding Singapore with foreign trash? And lying about it for 10 years?? 90% of staff in my current and previous company are foreigner Indians!! All managers are foreigner Indians!! They are all foreign trash! They are all incompetent with fake or rubbish third world qualifications. While Tharman and the PAP openly lie that only 30% of the workers are foreigners! How could they do this to us? They have destroyed lives of thousands of Singaporeans!! In my current and previous office, 90 people are foreigner Indians trash with rubbish qualifications. Only 2 Singaporeans!!

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