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Monday January 14th 2019

Why our local IT sector is dominated by foreign Indians

Let me share my thoughts on this issue as far as my memories permit.

In the mid-late 90s, while I started my further education in marketing management after failing to complete my 3rd year poly engineering education for a subject failure, our government was strongly encouraging Singaporeans to go into IT sector during that period.

In early 2000s, the company I worked with was very upset for not getting enough IT specialists on programming tasks. A few locals left after a year or two, as what they were doing was way low-end compared to what they had paid for in education fee to learn.

In the period between 2003~2008 there were heaps of IT professionals flooding in from India. Employing them was easy and since then our company is no longer interested in local IT folks.

Our recruitment director was a Japanese who likes the obedience of Indian talents with every “can can” attitude. They “can can” and then when they cannot, it was the few leftover local IT guys who would fix the problems day in and out. This period also coincides with the government’s policy of  opening up the flood gate for the foreign work force, talent or not. Our workforce was marginalised and placed on back burner.

Fast forward to 2007, the last local IT guy left the company. The friends of Indian IT professional broughtin more friends. Suddenly, study IT was a curse to many who wondered why education was valuable. Interview of local IT job candidates never happened from then on. The Japanese recruiting director was replaced by Indian director, interviews were conducted over phone call and Indian talents turn up next week.

By 2009, many things  were starting to look horrible. Even the government lost a GRC. Recruiting non SG/SPR became a HR challenge. Cause and effect, many local IT people were out of the picture… and here we are today.

One of the deficiency we have in the education, is spending too much time to train for something the business wants a little and which the company would not pay the premium for.

Remember this paragraph, it is a fact. When you over-train, there is a higher expectation in the workforce. Many times, I failed to understand why a local diploma course that only earns you a wage of $2000 or less per month will take 3 years of education time? Anyone see the reason behind? That is the whole outdated social management agenda underneath.

It is simple to say I would pay $50k p.a. for someone with 4~5 years in experience in IT. Frankly, how do we measure experience? And when you have 10 or even 20 years experience, you would say that’s over qualified. Over qualified became another word to discriminate against your age. And when you are young, you are not experienced. So, it would be the Indian IT professionals who are young and experienced, any doubt?

Business will say all it can to get the best worker for the least payout. But in Singapore it  is unique when someone say we cannot get a good minister if we don’t pay them well.

Fortunately, Singapore is starting to change with the new “train and place” program by e2i but certainly the speed can run faster. Yet it is the government’s responsibility to further control the foreigner quota in various business sector.

Wondered why there are many foreign workers in construction sector? MOM will tell you that for every Singaporean you employ, you can get 7 more work permit foreigners.

Singaporean do not like to work in construction? Nah… any of us would like to get $1600 a month in wage before CPF contribution and work in a high safety risk environment and need to pay much higher insurance cost because the insurance providers classified you as a high risk claimant?

Politicians, the last sentence is for you…


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

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5 Responses to “Why our local IT sector is dominated by foreign Indians”

  1. Andy Kwok says:

    Look not only the IT sector, look further at :- shipyards in SG, banks, call Centers, etc etc, especially Gov and stat boards

  2. Aru Akise says:

    Cheap labour is not suitable for Singaporeans. It’s the problem of PAP’s policies of hiring cheap foreigners. Many companies across different industries are addicted to cheap labour. Minimum wage system should be imposed in Singapore for every Singaporean to earn enough.

  3. vtfygbnhuj says:

    Not every skill sets that Singaporeans will possess like programming for an example, those hands on stuff FT might be better than us. As our education system here only teaches us to mug.

  4. Sunny Tan says:

    I have a inside tract on the it sector here. There are it that will never hire Indian its.Why? Many are cheap but no good. So, why take the risk. They did hire Indian It in the past but found them to be of low quality and mess up the system. They had to be sackss

  5. Sunny Tan says:

    I have a inside tract on the it sector here. There are it that will never hire Indian its.Why? Many are cheap but no good. So, why take the risk. They did hire Indian It in the past but found them to be of low quality and mess up the system. They had to be sacked. So, why hire them.Better be safe than to be sorry. Many Indian It people but many come from low class uni. Only a few are good.

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