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foreign manpower tightening

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Callput
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Postby Callput » Tue, 13 Nov 2012 10:00 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Believe me, it's being discussed a lot outside of this forum, especially among HR Manager like myself. Fully 45% of my staff are foreigners and at the moment my S pass holders are something like 10 over quota when the new changes came about. So, we know we will be losing the next 10 S pass renewals when they happen, qualified or not, (this, I might say, is going to be a real bummer unless somehow we manage to hire a lot of local to work in the pest control business (which was on the news last night because of what I'm speaking about at the moment - it goes across the whole industry)

My boss is ripping his hair out. Me, I would as well, but I don't have any to rip out and they are not about to give me a brazillian! :o


I think I know the news you are referring to, its on CNA website titled "Businesses seek clarification on foreign labour policy" and there is a mention of a pest control company PestBusters and here is a really funny quote from its CEO

"It is really, really frustrating...We are not in manufacturing where we can automate. I can't get robots to go and find a cockroach in the kitchen and kill it." :)

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 13 Nov 2012 10:20 pm

Neither can robots make their way around construction sites and such for oiling & fogging purposes as construction sites are a great placed to incubate vector borne diseases. We've already automated the processes for termites, with several methods including thermal imaging. Bees? Wish they could find a way to not use our guys. The worst part is in our case our biggest employer is NEA. We have stood down from their ad hoc outbreak services (we were one of the few companies that could mobilize the necessary numbers (50 or more) on a Sunday morning if needed. Now? NEA will have to deal with encephalitis, malaria, dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever, and most recently chikungunya outbreaks. NEA and MOM are doing a great disservice to the citizens and visitor to this country.

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Postby taxico » Wed, 14 Nov 2012 10:39 am

if it's any consolation... the new NPTD paper states that "(w)hile our foreign workforce policies will continue to remain tight, a sustainable supply of manpower in the healthcare and built environment sectors as well as for foreign domestic workers is required to serve the needs of Singaporeans."

okay, no consolations. i read in the paper today that many small business owners plead as a group with minister grace fu to no avail.

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Postby the lynx » Wed, 14 Nov 2012 10:50 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Neither can robots make their way around construction sites and such for oiling & fogging purposes as construction sites are a great placed to incubate vector borne diseases. We've already automated the processes for termites, with several methods including thermal imaging. Bees? Wish they could find a way to not use our guys. The worst part is in our case our biggest employer is NEA. We have stood down from their ad hoc outbreak services (we were one of the few companies that could mobilize the necessary numbers (50 or more) on a Sunday morning if needed. Now? NEA will have to deal with encephalitis, malaria, dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever, and most recently chikungunya outbreaks. NEA and MOM are doing a great disservice to the citizens and visitor to this country.


Just for some thoughts, why can't the people here be like Australia, USA, UK, Germany etc where technicians are actually locals themselves and their profession are treated with respect?

Over here, it is treated like a scum job and undeserving of the 'precious' Singaporeans.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 14 Nov 2012 12:23 pm

Same thing with construction workers in Aus, UK or the US. The are trademen and are damn well paid. In fact most are members of various unions.

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Postby Callput » Wed, 14 Nov 2012 1:33 pm

the lynx wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:Neither can robots make their way around construction sites and such for oiling & fogging purposes as construction sites are a great placed to incubate vector borne diseases. We've already automated the processes for termites, with several methods including thermal imaging. Bees? Wish they could find a way to not use our guys. The worst part is in our case our biggest employer is NEA. We have stood down from their ad hoc outbreak services (we were one of the few companies that could mobilize the necessary numbers (50 or more) on a Sunday morning if needed. Now? NEA will have to deal with encephalitis, malaria, dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever, and most recently chikungunya outbreaks. NEA and MOM are doing a great disservice to the citizens and visitor to this country.


Just for some thoughts, why can't the people here be like Australia, USA, UK, Germany etc where technicians are actually locals themselves and their profession are treated with respect?

Over here, it is treated like a scum job and undeserving of the 'precious' Singaporeans.


That is because something called "Dignity of labour" exists in those places that you talk of which doesnt exist in Asia. You must not forget that Singapore is Asia first and a developed country later. Somethings are ingrained in the culture that just cant go away easily.

The main reason for that being in the other developed countries, you could still lead a decent life being a low skilled worker, because of minimum wages and stuff. In Singapore or the rest of Asia for that matter, there is huge gap in the standard of living between blue collar and white collar jobs.

If you read the comments posted by locals online, the direction that they want to move is towards the developed countries where wages are high and I think thats the direction the gahmen is currently taking them to.

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Postby v4jr4 » Wed, 14 Nov 2012 1:53 pm

Callput wrote:
the lynx wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:Neither can robots make their way around construction sites and such for oiling & fogging purposes as construction sites are a great placed to incubate vector borne diseases. We've already automated the processes for termites, with several methods including thermal imaging. Bees? Wish they could find a way to not use our guys. The worst part is in our case our biggest employer is NEA. We have stood down from their ad hoc outbreak services (we were one of the few companies that could mobilize the necessary numbers (50 or more) on a Sunday morning if needed. Now? NEA will have to deal with encephalitis, malaria, dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever, and most recently chikungunya outbreaks. NEA and MOM are doing a great disservice to the citizens and visitor to this country.


Just for some thoughts, why can't the people here be like Australia, USA, UK, Germany etc where technicians are actually locals themselves and their profession are treated with respect?

Over here, it is treated like a scum job and undeserving of the 'precious' Singaporeans.


That is because something called "Dignity of labour" exists in those places that you talk of which doesnt exist in Asia. You must not forget that Singapore is Asia first and a developed country later. Somethings are ingrained in the culture that just cant go away easily.

The main reason for that being in the other developed countries, you could still lead a decent life being a low skilled worker, because of minimum wages and stuff. In Singapore or the rest of Asia for that matter, there is huge gap in the standard of living between blue collar and white collar jobs.

If you read the comments posted by locals online, the direction that they want to move is towards the developed countries where wages are high and I think thats the direction the gahmen is currently taking them to.


I tend to agree. Blue collar jobs are seen as "low-life" jobs. That's why, when I was little, my parents and grandparents would tease me "If you don't study hard, you'll end up as a garbage man."

*insert Asian dad meme here* :P
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 14 Nov 2012 1:53 pm

The problem I see is that they need to do it all the way or no way. Otherwise, the wage gap continues to grow and a every increasing & alarming rate.

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 14 Nov 2012 2:10 pm

v4jr4 wrote:I tend to agree. Blue collar jobs are seen as "low-life" jobs. That's why, when I was little, my parents and grandparents would tease me "If you don't study hard, you'll end up as a garbage man."


Ahh, but to have a garbage man job in a US city like Chicago... You'd be retiring after 20-30 years at US$70-100k/year+ with 80%+ pension on that for the rest of your life.

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Postby v4jr4 » Wed, 14 Nov 2012 2:20 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
v4jr4 wrote:I tend to agree. Blue collar jobs are seen as "low-life" jobs. That's why, when I was little, my parents and grandparents would tease me "If you don't study hard, you'll end up as a garbage man."


Ahh, but to have a garbage man job in a US city like Chicago... You'd be retiring after 20-30 years at US$70-100k/year+ with 80%+ pension on that for the rest of your life.


Well, in Jakarta, you can end up with US$1-2k/year :-|
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Postby ScoobyDoes » Wed, 14 Nov 2012 4:33 pm

the lynx wrote:Just for some thoughts, why can't the people here be like Australia, USA, UK, Germany etc where technicians are actually locals themselves and their profession are treated with respect?



You have to remember that all the great 'technicians' from history have been from those Western type economies and a huge amount of advancement was made from there not least during the Industrial Revolution. Whether it be the steam engine, automobiles, bridges, skyscrapers, space travel, submariners, production lines, the list goes on but actually 'doing stuff' is in our blood. Strangely for Asia we look at Japan and Korea as having those traits now though bourne initially from copying then innovating and on to leading.

Fine, non-Western countries have been great builders, from the Great Wall to the Pyramids to Machu Picchu and whilst I revel at how they did it I don't put it in the same class as electricity or diving to the Mariana Trench.
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Postby Sergei82 » Wed, 14 Nov 2012 6:47 pm

As I remember, ASME was originally lobbying the tightening of criteria for highly skilled foreign workers and easing S-pass criteria. They stepped on their own rake. If somebody still hasn't read, here:

http://www.asme.org.sg/index.php/news/n ... ing-survey

As an example for IT in finance, Credit Suisse (where I work now) moves a huge chunk of it from SG to Pune (Barclays also moves their back-office from SG to Pune), from London to Wroclaw, from NY to Raleigh. So it is a global tendency, not just because SG screwed up. Our team - we had a performance review in January, nobody came back to us with info abt our bonuses and salary increments by now - they are still "deciding", it's already November. :) A lot of people are running to Barclays - they're still hiring, some jumped to JP Morgan Chase.

We are also "encouraged" to go to work in Pune (not obligatory for now). 50% salary cut and contract position only. Only megamature and megatough Indians are happy to do that. :)

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Postby nakatago » Wed, 14 Nov 2012 7:35 pm

Sergei82 wrote:We are also "encouraged" to go to work in Pune (not obligatory for now). 50% salary cut and contract position only. Only megamature and megatough Indians are happy to do that. :)


Gee, those terms sure do sound very attractive. I wonder why people decline it.

/s

On a serious note, I just had a chat with our company president. He says the board can't really think of a solution about the lack of manpower. He cites the following factors:

* tightening pass requirements
* local (Singaporeans) engineers leaving to become bankers after only a short time
* the cost of relocating the company outside of Singapore.

And our company is a favored employer that gets more foreign workers than we're entitled to. He also reports to the EDB with citizens and PR's lumped together to give the illusion of a high local workforce. He suggests that EP holders then apply for PR (heh. Like that's gonna happen) so that foreigner quotas aren't an issue. Then later on my colleague then pointed out that rent are at astronomical rates.

So yeah, a high-level executive that genuinely looks lost about what to do about all this. He was earnestly asking for suggestions on what to do. And we're not in finance. We're manufacturing and R&D.

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Postby Sergei82 » Wed, 14 Nov 2012 7:45 pm

No MNC can plan their business 4-5 years ahead in a country which change laws as often as women change their underwear (as I remember, some high executive, probably from SGX, said something close to that).

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Postby Sergei82 » Wed, 14 Nov 2012 7:48 pm

And I wouldn't go to Pune even if they quadruple my salary. There are other reasons why I'm here (I'm not sure already about sanity of those reasons due to the situation)


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