Are employers offering jobs to foreigners which Singaporeans can do?


A forumer writing in Singapore Expats identifying herself as Ventolin has said that she wants to resign from her position as an Admin staff at NTU. She is on employment pass and has been working there for about 2 months.

Saying the job scope is not a good fit for her and that she does not like living in a bog city, the foreigner asked if she could resign by giving 14 days notice.

A search in Gumtree with the search terms “s+pass+jobs” revealed that several local companies and individuals have advertised about job vacancies for foreigners.


Speaking at a Forum in October last year, Minister Ong Ye Kung told the audience that despite the slowing economy, there are thousands of jobs waiting to be filled.

He listed the jobs. Many were in the IT sector:

• 30,000 IT professionals needed by 2017
• 3,000 more jobs for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) in precision engineering by 2020;
• Demand for 1,000 rail engineers
• At least 1,200 professionals needed in finance, mostly in IT and compliance
• 4,000 more early childhood educators needed in the coming years.

He said that the job market is still holding up as evidenced by 9 in 10 fresh graduates from local universities and polytechnics being able to get a job within six months.

The retrenched workers especially the local PMETs, however, is a different story. They can’t find jobs that easily. He attributed this to the lack of appropriate skills. He said that specialised skills are often needed in entering a new industry.

In short, they need to acquire new specialised skills to get a job, he added. In this regard, he noted that the National Jobs Bank has some 70,000 vacancies and many of them require specialised skills.

For example, in financial services, those with knowledge of IT applications and cyber security analytics, as well as strong numeric skills, are in demand, he said.

Speaking at another Forum organised by the EDB Society and The Straits Times a few days ago, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said “jobs are available and quite often employers can’t find suitable Singaporeans so that’s why they bring in foreigners.”

Channel NewsAsia quoted the prime minister responding to the question if the unemployment situation was a cause for worry saying:

“My growth rate is constrained by how many people I have,” he noted. “And if I have more workers, more students coming out who are well-trained, well-educated, I can grow faster. That is the constraint rather than ‘I have so many people coming out, where are the jobs to be found’…If you look at foreign worker numbers in Singapore, there are still substantial numbers. Growth has slowed… but jobs are available and quite often employers can’t find suitable Singaporeans so that’s why they bring in foreigners…But if we can produce Singaporeans with skills, jobs will be there and we will be able to employ them.”