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Another policy tightening is on the horizon :(

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

movingtospore
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Postby movingtospore » Wed, 31 Aug 2011 12:08 pm

Old timers - does Sing go through this level of "i hate foreigners" every couple of years, or is this new? On the one hand I kind of understand why the locals must feel a bit put out by the pace of change to their little island. But on the other hand I think the gov't is incredibly naive about how very little this place is...if they make life too difficult the MNCs and banks will be gone in a flash. I just don't get it...I've yet to meet a Singaporian who would take a job in construction etc. How else are they going to keep tearing buildings down and building new ones if they don't bring in foreigners to do this? And, for office jobs, a lot of the companies I work with need to hire foreigners as they can't find locals who can do the jobs. Maybe I just don't travel in the right circles but I've also yet to meet a Singaporean who doesn't have a job - as far as I can tell they change jobs every year or two because it's awfully easy to find a new one.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 31 Aug 2011 2:59 pm

Welcome to the Singapore conundrum. Highly educated locals without a modicum of commonsense. With your take on Singaporeans, you now know why it's so essential that the country keeps FT's.

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Postby ecureilx » Wed, 31 Aug 2011 3:58 pm

movingtospore wrote: I've yet to meet a Singaporian who would take a job in construction etc. How else are they going to keep tearing buildings down and building new ones if they don't bring in foreigners to do this?


I could start off .. with a lot of EPC companies I have done site support, Halliburton, Macdermott, FWC, KBR, and a lot more .. have enough and more local engineers .. and more are coming online with more locals taking up Civil, Electrical, and the related disciplines .. and they are doing jobs on par with foreigners ..

Yah, I may have seen the minority, or maybe I did step out and smell the air outside ..

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Postby movingtospore » Thu, 01 Sep 2011 2:53 pm

Yeah, I meant the more low-end workers, but it's nice to know that locals are being hired for engineering jobs. I would think companies would prefer to hire locals ... cheaper, less hassle. That's why I don't understand what all the fuss is about.

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Postby BillyB » Thu, 01 Sep 2011 5:28 pm

I heard another POV to the 'foreigner' issues which did actually enlighten me and seemed a very valid point. Access to education is getting quite difficult for Singaporeans who weren't born into riches, partly due to the high levels of demand in the local Universities and the limitations on places due to their being only 3/4 universities here. These families can't afford to send their kids overseas so the kids are, by default, forced into work.

The foreigners coming here -because they have access to a larger number of local Universities - are automatically one or two rungs higher up the career ladder. The Singaporeans thus see foreigners coming here, taking jobs that they could quite easily do themselves, but have been deprived of the chance to compete or follow that career path through a lack of available education.

It did make me think - what is really the catalyst in some of the anti-foreigner sentiment? Is it finding someone to blame, not being able to see the wood for the trees, selective ignorance, or a combination of a number of factors?

The UK had a similar problem in 1997 when the Labour Government took over - they made education more expensive by abolishing all grants, reducing student loan amounts - effectively isolating part of the middle and lower classes from access to higher education.

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Postby ksl » Thu, 01 Sep 2011 7:50 pm

I guess we can conclude that government politicians and the civil service leave much to be desired in most Countries. :-| Grass roots need too pull together to voice the misdeeds that many governments make, the UK unfortunately have too many cooks that spoil the broth and not enough time to do anything positive other than line their own pockets! Singapore locals can swing the axe and that is a good thing, though they need to get a grip of themselves and be productive.

Companies are not charitable organisations, with the right motivation I'm sure more jobs would be made available and employees rewarded for their positive work approach. Time and motion is vital to any successful business and i know start ups and CEO's find it tough making a local wage too if the employees don't produce.

The locals really need to make an effort, but they demand 1500 a month with no qualifications and no motivation to hit bonus targets, as that means work! I'm sure there are 1000's of vacancies around.
Last edited by ksl on Thu, 01 Sep 2011 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby beppi » Thu, 01 Sep 2011 7:59 pm

Singapore has the same percentage of graduates in the labor force as USA (approx. 40%) and higher than Europe (20-30%). Thus the above argument is wrong.
(Interestingly, Russia and Canada are top of the league with over 50%. Quality of degrees is not taken into consideration.)
This is data from the World Bank.

Of course the majority of EP holders have tertiary education, since it is a prerequisite for getting an EP.

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Postby BillyB » Fri, 02 Sep 2011 10:02 am

beppi wrote:Singapore has the same percentage of graduates in the labor force as USA (approx. 40%) and higher than Europe (20-30%). Thus the above argument is wrong.
(Interestingly, Russia and Canada are top of the league with over 50%. Quality of degrees is not taken into consideration.)
This is data from the World Bank.

Of course the majority of EP holders have tertiary education, since it is a prerequisite for getting an EP.


It wasn't really argument - it was a different point of view that I heard from an ex-engineer who was now driving a taxi because he had to continue to work to pay fro his kids to go to an overseas university becuase there wasn't enough places in the local Uni's. A very intelligent guy and he was simply sharing his thoughts or airing his frustrations. I was talking about people without the means to access education.

And we all know how misleading %'s can be on a comparison basis when there isn't a benchmark to compare against.

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Postby Barnsley » Fri, 02 Sep 2011 10:11 am

BillyB wrote:I heard another POV to the 'foreigner' issues which did actually enlighten me and seemed a very valid point. Access to education is getting quite difficult for Singaporeans who weren't born into riches, partly due to the high levels of demand in the local Universities and the limitations on places due to their being only 3/4 universities here. These families can't afford to send their kids overseas so the kids are, by default, forced into work.

The foreigners coming here -because they have access to a larger number of local Universities - are automatically one or two rungs higher up the career ladder. The Singaporeans thus see foreigners coming here, taking jobs that they could quite easily do themselves, but have been deprived of the chance to compete or follow that career path through a lack of available education.

It did make me think - what is really the catalyst in some of the anti-foreigner sentiment? Is it finding someone to blame, not being able to see the wood for the trees, selective ignorance, or a combination of a number of factors?

The UK had a similar problem in 1997 when the Labour Government took over - they made education more expensive by abolishing all grants, reducing student loan amounts - effectively isolating part of the middle and lower classes from access to higher education.


The apparent necessity to have a degree to get on here and in a lot of places is baffling. Whats wrong with incentivising companies to train up people, especially as companies are currently moaning that "the system" isnt producing what they need.

The other thing Labour did was massively increase the number of institutions that could "give a degree" technically increasing access to higher education alas it only appears to have undermined the degree system.
Life is short, paddle harder!!

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Postby BillyB » Fri, 02 Sep 2011 10:28 am

Barnsley wrote:
BillyB wrote:I heard another POV to the 'foreigner' issues which did actually enlighten me and seemed a very valid point. Access to education is getting quite difficult for Singaporeans who weren't born into riches, partly due to the high levels of demand in the local Universities and the limitations on places due to their being only 3/4 universities here. These families can't afford to send their kids overseas so the kids are, by default, forced into work.

The foreigners coming here -because they have access to a larger number of local Universities - are automatically one or two rungs higher up the career ladder. The Singaporeans thus see foreigners coming here, taking jobs that they could quite easily do themselves, but have been deprived of the chance to compete or follow that career path through a lack of available education.

It did make me think - what is really the catalyst in some of the anti-foreigner sentiment? Is it finding someone to blame, not being able to see the wood for the trees, selective ignorance, or a combination of a number of factors?

The UK had a similar problem in 1997 when the Labour Government took over - they made education more expensive by abolishing all grants, reducing student loan amounts - effectively isolating part of the middle and lower classes from access to higher education.


The apparent necessity to have a degree to get on here and in a lot of places is baffling. Whats wrong with incentivising companies to train up people, especially as companies are currently moaning that "the system" isnt producing what they need.

The other thing Labour did was massively increase the number of institutions that could "give a degree" technically increasing access to higher education alas it only appears to have undermined the degree system.


We all know that the majority of what you learn in a degree is never utilised from a technical standpoint. Firm's tend to look at it from a lifestyle and extra-curricular perspective. The world is getting so focused on short-term everything, that there simply is too much risk training someone extensively and it doesn't produce numbers immediately.

And yes, the UK saw a wave of mass advertising for all the colleges offering online and local degree's. Very much like the system in Asia whereby Universities advertise and are quite commercial in how they fill their numbers. Where as for the traditional Uni's in the UK, for example, most of the awareness and branding is based on reputation.

I think University education should include a module on common sense as a core module, and communication skills for very technical degrees!!

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Postby revhappy » Fri, 02 Sep 2011 10:53 am

BillyB wrote:I heard another POV to the 'foreigner' issues which did actually enlighten me and seemed a very valid point. Access to education is getting quite difficult for Singaporeans who weren't born into riches, partly due to the high levels of demand in the local Universities and the limitations on places due to their being only 3/4 universities here. These families can't afford to send their kids overseas so the kids are, by default, forced into work.

The foreigners coming here -because they have access to a larger number of local Universities - are automatically one or two rungs higher up the career ladder. The Singaporeans thus see foreigners coming here, taking jobs that they could quite easily do themselves, but have been deprived of the chance to compete or follow that career path through a lack of available education.

It did make me think - what is really the catalyst in some of the anti-foreigner sentiment? Is it finding someone to blame, not being able to see the wood for the trees, selective ignorance, or a combination of a number of factors?

The UK had a similar problem in 1997 when the Labour Government took over - they made education more expensive by abolishing all grants, reducing student loan amounts - effectively isolating part of the middle and lower classes from access to higher education.


Why do they have only 3/4 universities here in the 1st place? A city like Bangalore that is almost same size as Singapore has more than a hundred engineering colleges and churns out 10s of 1000s of Engineers every year. Of course the quality of education is not the same but then everyone can afford to get into an engineering college there and there loans in plenty for those who can't.

Singapore being so proactive in most of things has got some very basic stuff completely wrong. One, as Billy pointed out access to education for cheap and 2nd the cost of medical facilities and these two have mainly contributed to the absymal low fertility rates and the need to bring in foreigners.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 02 Sep 2011 1:04 pm

revhappy wrote:
Why do they have only 3/4 universities here in the 1st place? A city like Bangalore that is almost same size as Singapore has more than a hundred engineering colleges and churns out 10s of 1000s of Engineers every year. Of course the quality of education is not the same but then everyone can afford to get into an engineering college there and there loans in plenty for those who can't.

Singapore being so proactive in most of things has got some very basic stuff completely wrong. One, as Billy pointed out access to education for cheap and 2nd the cost of medical facilities and these two have mainly contributed to the absymal low fertility rates and the need to bring in foreigners.


Can't believe you wrote this. :?

Bangalore can still draw from the whole of India, more than 1B people. Singapore on the other hand, can only draw from 5M AND is land scarce as well. Campuses take up a lot of space.

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Postby boffenl » Fri, 02 Sep 2011 1:43 pm

The issue of limited spots in local uni's is a very valid point. There is a lot of resentment from mid-level managers who have been relatively successful and whose children were denied spots in local uni's. There just are not enough seats to go around. And a Poly "degree" is great for some, but it is not a recognized 4 year bachelor's anywhere--and certainly not for parents who strive for better for their kids.

I work in an office that's probably 95% Singaporean, and three colleagues have children at foreign universities (UK, Australia) I do sense some bitterness--it's a HUGE chunk of change to send your kid abroad, and even with the low interest loans available it's still expensive.

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Postby BillyB » Fri, 02 Sep 2011 2:14 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
revhappy wrote:
Why do they have only 3/4 universities here in the 1st place? A city like Bangalore that is almost same size as Singapore has more than a hundred engineering colleges and churns out 10s of 1000s of Engineers every year. Of course the quality of education is not the same but then everyone can afford to get into an engineering college there and there loans in plenty for those who can't.

Singapore being so proactive in most of things has got some very basic stuff completely wrong. One, as Billy pointed out access to education for cheap and 2nd the cost of medical facilities and these two have mainly contributed to the absymal low fertility rates and the need to bring in foreigners.


Can't believe you wrote this. :?

Bangalore can still draw from the whole of India, more than 1B people. Singapore on the other hand, can only draw from 5M AND is land scarce as well. Campuses take up a lot of space.


Its a catch 22 situation

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Postby revhappy » Fri, 02 Sep 2011 4:26 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
revhappy wrote:
Why do they have only 3/4 universities here in the 1st place? A city like Bangalore that is almost same size as Singapore has more than a hundred engineering colleges and churns out 10s of 1000s of Engineers every year. Of course the quality of education is not the same but then everyone can afford to get into an engineering college there and there loans in plenty for those who can't.

Singapore being so proactive in most of things has got some very basic stuff completely wrong. One, as Billy pointed out access to education for cheap and 2nd the cost of medical facilities and these two have mainly contributed to the absymal low fertility rates and the need to bring in foreigners.


Can't believe you wrote this. :?

Bangalore can still draw from the whole of India, more than 1B people. Singapore on the other hand, can only draw from 5M AND is land scarce as well. Campuses take up a lot of space.


Well, If Singapore can build high rise HDB flats in limited space then they can be innovative enough to build universities in limited space. They definitely have enough resources(financial + foreign labour) to build universities. But then casinos and theme parks have higher priority here :shock:


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