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Am I being cheated? Or . . . . .

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aftershocks
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Am I being cheated? Or . . . . .

Postby aftershocks » Wed, 12 Mar 2008 7:50 pm

Hello all,

I'm an EPEC approved applicant.. I went for a job interview today and when they asked me for my expected salary, I put down $2700. This is because I have done research online and have found that for University grads that enter the work force in this line of work (Network Engineer) on average makes this much. When the employer saw the expected salary, they immediately told me that that amount is a lot... I told the HR lady who interview me that an Employment Pass requires at least $2500. I feel that I'm worth $2700 with my work experience.

She told me that I should fall under a S-Pass instead. I replied, "But I'm a University grad, I thought the S-Pass was more so geared towards College graduates whereas the Employment Pass is for University Graduates. It even states on my EPEC certificate that I'm eligible for my Employment Pass.." She responded, "Because you don't have enough experience yet.... I myself is a S-Pass holder" She's a foreigner also.

Am I overlooking something here? Should I fall under a S-Pass holder and not an Employment Pass? Or am I being cheated by this employer? Please let me know... I'm new to Singapore so I'm not quite sure.. I'm just going according to MOM's website...

Thanks!

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Re: Am I being cheated? Or . . . . .

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 12 Mar 2008 11:41 pm

aftershocks wrote:Hello all,

I'm an EPEC approved applicant.. I went for a job interview today and when they asked me for my expected salary, I put down $2700. This is because I have done research online and have found that for University grads that enter the work force in this line of work (Network Engineer) on average makes this much. When the employer saw the expected salary, they immediately told me that that amount is a lot... I told the HR lady who interview me that an Employment Pass requires at least $2500. I feel that I'm worth $2700 with my work experience.

She told me that I should fall under a S-Pass instead. I replied, "But I'm a University grad, I thought the S-Pass was more so geared towards College graduates whereas the Employment Pass is for University Graduates. It even states on my EPEC certificate that I'm eligible for my Employment Pass.." She responded, "Because you don't have enough experience yet.... I myself is a S-Pass holder" She's a foreigner also.

Am I overlooking something here? Should I fall under a S-Pass holder and not an Employment Pass? Or am I being cheated by this employer? Please let me know... I'm new to Singapore so I'm not quite sure.. I'm just going according to MOM's website...

Thanks!


First of all, a college degree and a university degree are exactly the same thing. Now, with that out of the way.....

You need to learn something about the EPEC. All that certificate does is tell you that should a suitable position be offered at a suitable salary, you are elgible to get an employment pass. It does NOT offer you a guarantee of a job nor of a certain salary level.

Yes. To get an Employment Pass you must make a certain amount but an employer is not required to offer you that much. An "S" Pass is for those who salary offers are not sufficient to warrant the granting of an Employment Pass. University or College, it's the same thing. (not sure where you are from but you certainly have some wrong information).

What YOU feel you are worth and what the market will bear here don't always go hand in hand. The average Network Engineer in Singapore will be lucky to make 2300/mo. As a matter of fact, in Singapore a polytechnic Diploma holder with an mcse will qualify and will start at 1800/mo and there are plenty of them around as well.

You are not overlooking anything. You can fall under any classification here depending on how bad you want to work. You are not being cheated by the employer at all. If you are going according to MOM's website, then you have a problem with understanding English although your post here does not indicate you have any problems with the language at all.

Additionally, in order to get an EP the employer must qualify why they need to hire a foreigner to MOM instead of hiring a local. The fact that you are qualified according to the online assessment tool or even the EPEC, does not mean you will get one if there are sufficient quantities of locals with the necessary experience.

Being qualified does not mean you are guaranteed anything at all, it just means that you have sufficient qualifications not to be rejected due to your qualifications. The rest depends on the Job, Industry and quantities of local who are also suitably qualified. And IT people are a dime a dozen here especially green ones who are not in niche areas.

If you are smart, and don't have anything and you are getting near the expiration of your visa, it might pay you to take up the "S" pass offer and sit on the job until you can find something better. You can always get an EP if you find a position which 1) offers a high enough salary and, 2) doesn't have sufficient local stock to fill the positions required by the employer some other creative explanation .

Sorry to have to burst your bubble but you need to know the truth.

sms

NB: I'm the HR & Finance Mgr of a 200+ man sme here and also have 14 years as a headhunter here as well.

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Postby aftershocks » Thu, 13 Mar 2008 9:09 am

Thanks for your reply... My concern is that once I am classified as a "S-Pass" holder, for future employers will still view me as an "S-Pass" rather than an Employment Pass. If they see that I'm currently a S-Pass holder, why not remain the same and still pay me below $2500 as they can save money that way?... I don't know, but am I only one thinking that way? I mean once they register you as a S-Pass holder, it is on record. When you go for another interview, they will of course see that you are currently an S-Pass holder... Even if the job originally pays you higher, but since you're currently an S-Pass holder, why not continue paying you less amount still? You see where I'm getting at?

I'm from Canada and yes, I'm sorry to tell you, but there is a major difference between University graduates and College graduates... Especially one that holds an Honours Degree. If both were the same, then people would not choose to goto University and pay the extra 3 or 4 grand in tuition difference. If you haven't notice when applying for some jobs (here in Singapore, not just in Canada) they specifically state "possess an Honours Degree".. So goodluck applying with a diploma...

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Re: Am I being cheated? Or . . . . .

Postby Jeppo » Thu, 13 Mar 2008 9:46 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:First of all, a college degree and a university degree are exactly the same thing. Now, with that out of the way.....


Sorry SMS, but in many parts of the world, College is a lesser degree than University. I know of a few Singaporeans who got College Degrees and then went to University to get a Bachelors Degree in the same subject. The College Degree only gave them a partial credit towards the Bachelors, so they ended up completing the Bachelors in 1 1/2 years instead of 3.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 13 Mar 2008 1:54 pm

In the US a college or university degree is one in the same. A 4 year bachelors degree is just that. You all seem to think college relates to the local Polytechnics and their diploma programs. It doesn't if you are familiar with the local MOM viewpoint. Now lots of colleges do also offer an AA degree (which is comparable with a Poly Diploma) as it is also a two or three program. But the 4 years degree is recognized as such regardless.

Jeppo, you may be right. But in Singapore the MOM will recognize a college degree as valid if it results in a 4 year bachelor's degree - again, I guess it might also depend where it's from. Most of my S pass holder have "University" degrees and a few even have "Masters" degrees. But they are working on "S" passes because of Language, Experience & the fact that the MOM doesn't rate a Myanmar "University" degree very highly. This also happens to University Graduates from the Philippines quite often.

At any rate, the information given to OP is correct.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 13 Mar 2008 1:59 pm

aftershocks,

2 of the 3 S pass holders that I lost last year whet from S pass to EP with no problems. (and 2 of them hadn't been here a year yet) Of course, what you do is entirely up to you. I'll neither advise you to take it or not take it. It depends on what your future plans are. Stay here for a couple of years and move on. Or, do you want to settle here. Maybe, if you figure out which is more important in the long run, the end analysis might be easier to see.

sms

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Postby awesomearpit » Sun, 06 Apr 2008 11:05 pm

I understand your confusion about uni vs college... but the fact of the matter is you have to look at your options. if this is the only offer you have right now why not take it and keep interviewing!?

think about: is the job fun? will it give you the experience you need to get a better job in 6 months/1 year?

s-pass/employment pass doesnt really matter and is academic.

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Postby Teema » Thu, 10 Apr 2008 10:52 pm

There are different levels of employment pass, I think the lowest one is the "Q" pass with a minimum salary of 2.5k.

I know someone who got a "Q" pass mistakenly (he's actually qualified for P1 pass), and he got problem opening a bank accounts. I guess for S-Pass holders life would be harder.

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Postby aftershocks » Fri, 11 Apr 2008 12:35 am

It's all good now... I spoke with a girl that actually works there... and they are totally under paying her... I asked her if she wouldn't mind telling me her salary so I can compare, and she told me $1600 SGD... I guess that's the average pay if you work there...

Thankfully I found a better employer that is willing to pay much higher... but now, just awaiting for the employment pass...

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Postby aftershocks » Fri, 11 Apr 2008 12:37 am

Not sure if the company is exploiting all these young foreign workers.... She's a young malaysian girl... She told me she initially demanded more, but they wouldn't give... So it was basically like, "take it or leave it" for her...

I choose to leave it as I knew I'm worth more than what they were offering...

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 11 Apr 2008 9:33 am

aftershocks wrote:It's all good now... I spoke with a girl that actually works there... and they are totally under paying her... I asked her if she wouldn't mind telling me her salary so I can compare, and she told me $1600 SGD... I guess that's the average pay if you work there...

Thankfully I found a better employer that is willing to pay much higher... but now, just awaiting for the employment pass...


aftershocks, you did not indicate whether the girl was on a WP or an "S" pass. If she is on a WP then she is not being technically underpaid. As far as her salary is concerned that would depend on the position, her education, the what she is bringing to the table and the company's requirements. If she took the position, she is not being underpaid if she signed the contract (nobody forced her to sign it). She could be using the position as a paid visa (which I have written about already).

However, if she is on an "S" pass she is being underpaid and being mutually taken advantage of both by herself and her employer. This is done quite a bit here and from what I've heard, it's a practice that is widely done by some of our big regional MNC's here as well. It's illegal but at the same time, nobody is forcing one to accept those types of compromises unless there is mutual agreement? If you accept the terms then you cannot say you are being underpaid.


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