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IT Contracting In Singapore.

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SingForYourSuper
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IT Contracting In Singapore.

Postby SingForYourSuper » Tue, 20 Oct 2009 4:25 pm

Hi,

I am wanting to know whether there is an IT Contract market in Singapore.

I am from the UK, where IT Contracting is a popular way to work. The company will usually bring in contractors for a specific project to either buy in skills they do not have or just to temporarily bring in more people. Contracts are usually 6-12 months (although can run much longer with contract extensions - my last contract ran for 2 1/2 years).

The contractor is not an employee of the company, has no company benefits (sick pay, holiday pay), and few employment rights beyond what is specified in the contract.

Generally speaking contractors are very skilled\experienced, and for the flexibility offered they would generally expect to charge more than an employee. I am a Solutions Architect with over 16 years experience in IT and the rate I would charge in the UK is between £450-550 per day (S$ 1000-1250).

My question is, is this way of working common in Singapore. What are local day rates for a good Solutions Architect? Where would one search for\apply for such contracts in Singapore.

Any advice is very much appreciated.

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Saint
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Postby Saint » Wed, 21 Oct 2009 10:20 am

I would say there is virtually no IT contract market her in Singapore and definitely not at the UK daily rates. There's no need for it as there's an endless supply of cheap local/regional labour.

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 21 Oct 2009 10:35 am

Hiring contractors, even on a long term, is quite common. Works for both employer (who does not pay CPF, insurance, etc) and employee (who gets a bit more and handles own CPF, insurance, etc).

But, you'll not get the rates you are getting now... there is too much downward pressure on salaries and day rates. IF you have some specific, high in demand skill, you might get close but only for temp contracts.

But your bigger problem is this. If you are a contractor, then the employer cannot/does not supply you with a employment pass. You must have your own, which means you must apply for an Entrepass, and if you do a search for Entrepass you'll find the requirements have been drastically tightened up.

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Postby Saint » Wed, 21 Oct 2009 10:45 am

Strong Eagle wrote:Hiring contractors, even on a long term, is quite common. Works for both employer (who does not pay CPF, insurance, etc) and employee (who gets a bit more and handles own CPF, insurance, etc).


Which is fine if you are Singaporean or PR, I'm assuming the OP is neither

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jpatokal
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Re: IT Contracting In Singapore.

Postby jpatokal » Wed, 21 Oct 2009 4:13 pm

SingForYourSuper wrote:My question is, is this way of working common in Singapore. What are local day rates for a good Solutions Architect? Where
would one search for\apply for such contracts in Singapore.

Flip through JobsDB & co, and you'll see permanent positions for experienced software architects for <S$4000/mo. Of course, if you have significant experience in some niche field in demand, you can earn much more, but you'd have to be really hot shit to rake in north of S$20,000 a month. Unless you already have local customers lined up, or can do 100% remote work (not likely if you're an architect/team lead?), I would not advise moving here.

However, as SE said, it's not possible to do contract work while based in Singapore unless you have residence status here. Most Sg-based expat contractors/entrepreneurs came in through a company, got their PR, and then started up their own business.
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SingForYourSuper
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Re: IT Contracting In Singapore.

Postby SingForYourSuper » Wed, 21 Oct 2009 9:27 pm

jpatokal wrote: Flip through JobsDB & co, and you'll see permanent positions for experienced software architects for <S$4000/mo.


Hmm.. that's not exactly what I wanted to hear, but thanks for the honest reply.

S$4000/month would put me on the bread line. Once this was taxed (I'm working on 20%, is that correct?) it would be S$3200.

Given that (from my research) a decent standard of accomodation is about S$3000/month. That leaves S$200 for me and my wife to live on. In UK money that is about £80. Surely we would starve to death!!!!

Is this really the case? I don't really fancy starving to death.

Who is holding all the money in Singapore then. Seems like the average Joe should already have starved to death and that the working professional with many years experience would be close to starvation.

Who owns all the rental accomodation then? Seems not many people could save money, let alone be able to own investment property.

I'd love to come to Singapore for the culture and the experience, but I need to feed my family. Are any other IT professionals on here living in poverty in Singapore? The low salaries and very expensive accomodation just doesn't seem to add up.

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 21 Oct 2009 11:06 pm

JP's numbers are real, although not necessarily telling the whole story. Your income tax would be a good deal less than 20%... figure 11 percent on 150K... a graduated system.

A good solutions architect, working in an MNC, could pull down $8K... or perhaps more plus 1 month bonus, medical, vacation, paid holidays, and such.

If you were a real world class system architect, for example, able to build out a network and regional data centre proposal for an MNC to handle email, security, local, and enterprise apps across 16 countries in Asia, you could probably command those kind of dollars. I have supplied project managers capable of running such large scale projects from S$1000 to S$2000 per day... so it is possible.

And... in the market downturn, the pressure is on. Procurement wants costs cut... and in the technical world there is tremendous pressure from some pretty good people in developing countries (India, for example) that make it hard to sustain technical rates.

But all that aside, your big problem is getting work authorization as a contractor.

SingForYourSuper
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Postby SingForYourSuper » Thu, 22 Oct 2009 4:12 pm

Thanks for the reply, Strong Eagle.

I'm modest, but I wouldn't say I was world class. I'm more on the software side than networking and infrastructure.

I take your point on the visa situation. From what you are saying, it seems fairly difficult to obtain a work visa. I wish it was as difficult in the UK - the UK takes all comers; you don't even need to be able to speak/read/write English let alone have any useful skills!

It seems unlikely this would work out for me - I'd be unlikely to obtain a work visa, and my standard of living would be poor (somewhere between poverty and surviving).

Oh well, speaking to you guys has done enough to put me off. On to dream number 2 - AUSTRALIA!!!!

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Postby jpatokal » Fri, 23 Oct 2009 11:29 pm

SingForYourSuper wrote:I take your point on the visa situation. From what you are saying, it seems fairly difficult to obtain a work visa. I wish it was as difficult in the UK - the UK takes all comers; you don't even need to be able to speak/read/write English let alone have any useful skills!

iI you can get a solid job offer (full-time), it should not be a problem to get a visa, and then you can move on from there. But that's a very big if (what can you offer that the locals can't do?), and just landing here and attempting to sell yourself without any contacts would be a very risky gamble indeed.
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Postby haggle » Sat, 24 Oct 2009 6:32 pm

Yes there is a market if you have the right skills. If you're by chance from London and have skills in one of the hundreds of applications being used financial services you can make even more money than in London. I used http://www.itjobs.sg before but looks dead now. Maybe try the financial services recruiters.

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Postby apollo_69 » Tue, 27 Oct 2009 10:46 am

Hey SingForYourSuper - I just moved out here a few weeks ago from the UK, with 4-5 years experience I was earning 47k GBP in a permanent IT consulting role and now doing a very similar role out here for 100k SGD.....like you I was thinking of doing contracting here or in the UK but the downturn in the economy at home made me look harder abroad, I think the UK is seriously fubared financially so I'm trying to make a go of it here. I suppose I'm lucky to be young, single and free so 100k is good enough to live on, take home pay's probably higher than UK when you factor in tax and FX rates..

As PPs have said visa situation is tricky, I plan to spend the next 6-12 months familiarising myself with the culture and make some good networking contacts, then apply for PEP/PR status and when the opportunity arises take another look at contracting. There are options you just have to be more patient/flexible, good luck :)


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