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Thursday January 24th 2019

41-year-old jobless Singaporean with masters degree working as GrabCar driver after losing business to PRCs

Dear Gilbert,

I thought of sharing my experience.

I am a 41-year-old Singaporean with 3 kids and Master degree holder. I have been in the private education industry for the past 13 years.

My business provides services for foreign students in Singapore, mostly for China and Vietnamese students.

For the past years, there have been growing number of PRCs joining in the industry to provide the same services.

This industry used to charge service fee (a.k.a Agent fees) for services to foreign students and to also provide educational counselling for them to transfer to western countries for further studies.

But after more and more PRCs joined in, they the Agent Fee started to get lower and lower. Until this point in time where the Agent Fee for transfer to overseas universities is ZERO.

Some PRC agents even resorted to sharing the commission given by universities with the students.

This is very unhealthy with such `cut-throat’ price competition. Another factor contributing to the decline of the private education industry is the high school fees and cost of living in Singapore.

Foreign students find it too expensive to come Singapore to study.

Foreign student numbers dropped drastically for the past 2 or 3 years. I am not earning enough to support my family.

I have been looking for jobs but at age 41, I never get any response from my job applications. I am working as a GrabCar driver to earn more to supplement my family’s income.

My wife has also gone out to work.

My family changed suddenly. Both my wife and i are tired after work and my 3 children hardly see us. Its sad but true.

I am very worried for my 2 elder daughters as they are just reaching teenage and my wife andIi are not able to be spend more time with them.

Being a Singaporean is so pathetic now.

Mr Low

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

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2 Responses to “41-year-old jobless Singaporean with masters degree working as GrabCar driver after losing business to PRCs”

  1. Alex Tan says:

    Mr Low, I read your letter and really sympathise with you. If u are available to meet, I would wish to hear from you personally on your full situation. I may be able to offer you some assistance to employment, assignment, and alternatives to supplement your income.

    From: Alex Tan.

  2. Val says:

    Hi all i replied in a similar article , was unemployed for 2 years before I decided to take the great leap doing sales in organic plant foods. It wasnt easy as I had to compete with established brands but I grit my teeth and was tenacious.

    Today I’m making a comfortable income. I feel that sales doesn’t discriminate on age or ethnicity. Its equal opportunity for all if you work hard, if poster likes, he may contact me.

    - See more at:

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