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EP situation getting even tighter?

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ts1978
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EP situation getting even tighter?

Postby ts1978 » Mon, 16 Jun 2014 7:00 pm

Question for those of you in a position (HR or otherwise) where you are regularly applying for EP's and WP's for staff: is your sense that there's been further tightening over the past quarter or so?

Just had a rejection from MOM for a role close to $8K/mo, good qualifications and some "brand name" MNC experience, in Singapore for 7 years already, and a spouse that is on a P1 EP. This person is from a neighboring country.

Was quite a surprise to me, as I expected the rejection focus would be on those hovering around the minimum threshold which this role is double over.

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Re: EP situation getting even tighter?

Postby PNGMK » Mon, 16 Jun 2014 8:09 pm

ts1978 wrote:Question for those of you in a position (HR or otherwise) where you are regularly applying for EP's and WP's for staff: is your sense that there's been further tightening over the past quarter or so?

Just had a rejection from MOM for a role close to $8K/mo, good qualifications and some "brand name" MNC experience, in Singapore for 7 years already, and a spouse that is on a P1 EP. This person is from a neighboring country.

Was quite a surprise to me, as I expected the rejection focus would be on those hovering around the minimum threshold which this role is double over.


No - what you're seeing there is the MOM trying to get rid of foreigners in PMT roles -that's really where the unemployment issue is in Singapore (middle class, middle age SC professionals who are out of work).

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 16 Jun 2014 8:14 pm

^^This.

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Re: EP situation getting even tighter?

Postby midlet2013 » Tue, 17 Jun 2014 12:41 pm

If you dont mind, do you want to share what kind of role is that ? Is it scientific or managerial or marketing ??



ts1978 wrote:Question for those of you in a position (HR or otherwise) where you are regularly applying for EP's and WP's for staff: is your sense that there's been further tightening over the past quarter or so?

Just had a rejection from MOM for a role close to $8K/mo, good qualifications and some "brand name" MNC experience, in Singapore for 7 years already, and a spouse that is on a P1 EP. This person is from a neighboring country.

Was quite a surprise to me, as I expected the rejection focus would be on those hovering around the minimum threshold which this role is double over.

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Re: EP situation getting even tighter?

Postby PNGMK » Tue, 17 Jun 2014 4:09 pm

Doesn't matter midget, there's unemployed SC in all those categories.

midlet2013 wrote:If you dont mind, do you want to share what kind of role is that ? Is it scientific or managerial or marketing ??



ts1978 wrote:Question for those of you in a position (HR or otherwise) where you are regularly applying for EP's and WP's for staff: is your sense that there's been further tightening over the past quarter or so?

Just had a rejection from MOM for a role close to $8K/mo, good qualifications and some "brand name" MNC experience, in Singapore for 7 years already, and a spouse that is on a P1 EP. This person is from a neighboring country.

Was quite a surprise to me, as I expected the rejection focus would be on those hovering around the minimum threshold which this role is double over.

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Re: EP situation getting even tighter?

Postby Mi Amigo » Tue, 17 Jun 2014 4:55 pm

PNGMK wrote:Doesn't matter midget, there's unemployed SC in all those categories.

If that's the case, then they should definitely be given every opportunity to fill those roles for which their knowledge and experience is appropriate. I always endeavoured to hire Singaporeans for all new roles, but on more than one occasion we just couldn't find a person with the right background from the local population (at least from those who actually bothered to show up for their interview - don't get me started on that). In those (minority) situations we had to look for candidates with PR or for whom an EP would be required.

Latterly, 'HQ' were totally uninterested in hiring any more people in Singapore anyway (preferring to expand the teams in other regional hubs instead), as the country was viewed as being 'too expensive and too difficult to hire people', i.e. just not worth the aggro and cost any more.

The Singapore unemployment rate rose from 1.8% to 2% in Q1:

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/singapo ... yment-rate

... So yes, there are some unemployed people (albeit at a lower level than in most other developed countries) and they should be helped to find jobs. But if the gahmen wants to reverse the trend of companies scaling down or moving out, they need to deal with the causes of the negative perception I mentioned above. IMHO of course.
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Postby Wd40 » Tue, 17 Jun 2014 5:21 pm

I recently moved over from PEP to EP at high P2 level salary. I had no problems. I am in IT and this new company I joined although very similar role, my title sounded non-IT "Analyst, Financial", so I was a bit nervous about the outcome. But my previous company and the current one are both banks.

I think the main reason I got the EP was because my company hasn't abused it. I see locals all over here. There are only a few foreigners and all those are Ang Mohs mostly likely transferred from the head office. But no other Indians, Filipinos et el.

Also from my other Banking/IT circles there have been no EP rejections, so far. Very recently a friend joined Standard Chartered bank in IT on a vendor payroll and another one joined a small IT company called Emerio. No problems.

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Re: EP situation getting even tighter?

Postby PNGMK » Wed, 18 Jun 2014 12:20 am

Your perception and experience doesn't matter. What matters is the grassroots feedback and PAP polling.

GE 2016 is not far away.

Mi Amigo wrote:
PNGMK wrote:Doesn't matter midget, there's unemployed SC in all those categories.

If that's the case, then they should definitely be given every opportunity to fill those roles for which their knowledge and experience is appropriate. I always endeavoured to hire Singaporeans for all new roles, but on more than one occasion we just couldn't find a person with the right background from the local population (at least from those who actually bothered to show up for their interview - don't get me started on that). In those (minority) situations we had to look for candidates with PR or for whom an EP would be required.

Latterly, 'HQ' were totally uninterested in hiring any more people in Singapore anyway (preferring to expand the teams in other regional hubs instead), as the country was viewed as being 'too expensive and too difficult to hire people', i.e. just not worth the aggro and cost any more.

The Singapore unemployment rate rose from 1.8% to 2% in Q1:

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/singapo ... yment-rate

... So yes, there are some unemployed people (albeit at a lower level than in most other developed countries) and they should be helped to find jobs. But if the gahmen wants to reverse the trend of companies scaling down or moving out, they need to deal with the causes of the negative perception I mentioned above. IMHO of course.

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Re: EP situation getting even tighter?

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 18 Jun 2014 12:29 am

PNGMK wrote:Your perception and experience doesn't matter. What matters is the grassroots feedback and PAP polling.

GE 2016 is not far away.

Mi Amigo wrote:
PNGMK wrote:Doesn't matter midget, there's unemployed SC in all those categories.

If that's the case, then they should definitely be given every opportunity to fill those roles for which their knowledge and experience is appropriate. I always endeavoured to hire Singaporeans for all new roles, but on more than one occasion we just couldn't find a person with the right background from the local population (at least from those who actually bothered to show up for their interview - don't get me started on that). In those (minority) situations we had to look for candidates with PR or for whom an EP would be required.

Latterly, 'HQ' were totally uninterested in hiring any more people in Singapore anyway (preferring to expand the teams in other regional hubs instead), as the country was viewed as being 'too expensive and too difficult to hire people', i.e. just not worth the aggro and cost any more.

The Singapore unemployment rate rose from 1.8% to 2% in Q1:

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/singapo ... yment-rate

... So yes, there are some unemployed people (albeit at a lower level than in most other developed countries) and they should be helped to find jobs. But if the gahmen wants to reverse the trend of companies scaling down or moving out, they need to deal with the causes of the negative perception I mentioned above. IMHO of course.


It does matter... quite a few companies are pulling up stakes and moving their staffs elsewhere... costs are high, hiring other than local is getting harder and harder.

If PAP focuses just on the grass roots, Singaporeans will get just what they are screaming for... running off all the foreign talent... and then? The spiral downward begins.

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Re: EP situation getting even tighter?

Postby midlet2013 » Wed, 18 Jun 2014 2:12 am

Being unemployed does not mean suitability for a vacancy. If thats the case, throw 2% foreigners and we will have 100% employment.

PNGMK - u need glasses man. I feel ur eyes are giving up. Its hard for u to differentiate between midlet and midget :)


PNGMK wrote:Doesn't matter midget, there's unemployed SC in all those categories.

midlet2013 wrote:If you dont mind, do you want to share what kind of role is that ? Is it scientific or managerial or marketing ??



ts1978 wrote:Question for those of you in a position (HR or otherwise) where you are regularly applying for EP's and WP's for staff: is your sense that there's been further tightening over the past quarter or so?

Just had a rejection from MOM for a role close to $8K/mo, good qualifications and some "brand name" MNC experience, in Singapore for 7 years already, and a spouse that is on a P1 EP. This person is from a neighboring country.

Was quite a surprise to me, as I expected the rejection focus would be on those hovering around the minimum threshold which this role is double over.

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Re: EP situation getting even tighter?

Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 18 Jun 2014 2:53 am

midlet2013 wrote:Being unemployed does not mean suitability for a vacancy. If thats the case, throw 2% foreigners and we will have 100% employment.

PNGMK - u need glasses man. I feel ur eyes are giving up. Its hard for u to differentiate between midlet and midget :)


You're correct. The unemployed 2% probably wouldn't even all be qualified as taxi uncles or kopi aunties.

PNGMK probably did that intentionally. :)

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Postby Mi Amigo » Wed, 18 Jun 2014 4:13 am

Well PNGMK may indeed be 'correct' when he stated:

PNGMK wrote:Your perception and experience doesn't matter. What matters is the grassroots feedback and PAP polling.

GE 2016 is not far away.

... in the sense that the gahmen may not care one iota about what we (and the expat / international community at large) think; i.e. they might indeed be taking an exclusively short-term view in the run-up to the next GE. If that's really the case, it would (IMHO) undermine one of the key pillars of Singapore's success to date, namely looking at and planning things over a ~20 year time-frame. In which case SE is correct - they will throw the baby out with the bathwater (I refer the honourable ladies and gentlemen present to my signature below).

Amongst the working population, there are undoubtedly some people who are doing certain lower-paid jobs because they've not been able to find jobs where they can use all their knowledge and experience. I've met a number of older taxi uncles who fall into that category. Obviously they're not included in the unemployment figures, but in a ideal world they should be able find more suitable / rewarding work for their talents (see what I did there?).

I Think zzm has a point about 'residual' unemployment levels - there is a theory that there will always be a certain number of unemployed people who will never find jobs. But those who are willing, able and qualified to fill the job vacancies that come up should be given every opportunity to do so. We've all heard about the existence of business 'enclaves' where people from a particular country only want to recruit others from the same place. That is clearly wrong and companies that do such a thing should be dealt with accordingly. But I can't believe that this is anything other than a small proportion of cases overall - most companies (mine included) will surely prefer to take the easier route of hiring locals whenever possible.
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Postby gailwynand » Wed, 18 Jun 2014 10:54 am

OP does not mention the educational qualifications, they are cracking down on those also. Not only diploma mills, but lower quality regional universities.

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Postby Wd40 » Wed, 18 Jun 2014 11:02 am

gailwynand wrote:OP does not mention the educational qualifications, they are cracking down on those also. Not only diploma mills, but lower quality regional universities.


OP also doesnt mention what kind of company it is, what is the ratio of locals vs foreigners, whether they have misused EPs in the past and have been warned before.

To me, its the employer failing to get the EP rather than an employee not meeting the expectations.

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Re: EP situation getting even tighter?

Postby midlet2013 » Wed, 18 Jun 2014 11:21 am

Ya, I know he did it intentionally. But I kinda like him for being brutally candid in his opinions. I actually enjoy reading his posts :)

zzm9980 wrote:
midlet2013 wrote:Being unemployed does not mean suitability for a vacancy. If thats the case, throw 2% foreigners and we will have 100% employment.

PNGMK - u need glasses man. I feel ur eyes are giving up. Its hard for u to differentiate between midlet and midget :)


You're correct. The unemployed 2% probably wouldn't even all be qualified as taxi uncles or kopi aunties.

PNGMK probably did that intentionally. :)


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