Design industry overrun by foreigners: Really?

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By: Leong Sze Hian

Jobless designer lamenting about foreign takeover of his industry

I refer to the article “Jobless designer lamenting about a complete foreign takeover of his industry” (transitioning.org, Dec 7).

No interviews?

It states that “After months of going through interviews and sending out emails to companies in Singapore the response was totally zero.

Since last year I have been going to e2i and CDC to seek jobs. However, most of the companies that I have went through (recommended by e2i) were not at all responding or they didn’t call back in the end. What is e2i doing and is it just a place for the unemployed to spent their days?

I have been in design industry for more than 10 years, I have seen the big changes in my industry!

Influx of foreigners?

What are the changes you ask? They are the foreign designers from Malaysia, Philippine, PRC and now even Burmese that the government are issuing permit to allow them to take over the senior position jobs from Singaporeans.

What I know of that the local companies are looking for low cost ‘foreign talent’ to replace the ‘expensive Singaporean’ talents since few years ago. How is this possible?

These companies have reported to the MOM there are not many Singaporean willing to come forward for the interview (the fact is that there are Singaporeans coming in for interview but are not considered).

I knew that there are many design companies hiring all ‘Foreign talents” as designers and not even one Singaporean designer can be found! Instead the boss used ‘other position’ Singaporean in their companies to apply for permits (‘those designers’) just to meet the MOM quota!

I saw the CDC  filled up with crowds of unemployed Singaporean both seeking for jobs and finance assistance. The number of unemployed is going to hit the roof again, I wonder if the statistics report by MOM is it ‘true”! From the news, we read the numbers of foreign workers increased in Singapore is only in the construction industry! Eventually even those from the services industry, white collar jobs like my industry, banking and even engineering industries will be the same!

Is there any organization able to check on MOM and give a actual statistic report so that we will not be kept in the dark!”

MOM statistics

According to the MOM’s Foreign Workforce Numbers – the percentage increase from December 2012 to June 2016 was

… 183% from 9,300 to 26,300 for Other Work Passes

… 26% from 142,400 to 179,400 for S Pass

…   9% from 173,800 to 189,600 for Employment Pass

According to another  MOM report – the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for residents increased from 3.8 in 2015 to 4.1 per cent in 2016 – with 92,300 unemployed residents.

No S’poreans unemployment rate?

What is the unemployment rate for Singaporeans, as it has historically been higher than the rate for residents?

49,000 foreign jobs against only 500 jobs for locals?

In the last 18 months from January 2015 to June 2016 – employment change was 49,000 foreign jobs against only 500 jobs for locals.

Negative employment change for locals for 21 months already?

Also, since in the third quarter of 2016, employment change contracted by -3,300 – does it mean now that the employment change for locals for the last 21 months to September 2016 has turned negative?

New citizens & new PRs?

On top of this – 29,955 new PRs and 20,815 new citizens were granted last year.

In 2014 – 50,202 (20,348 new citizens + 29,854 new PRs) were granted.

On the average, about 20,000 new citizens and 30,000 new PRs were granted per year in recent years.

How many of the “locals” jobs to Singaporeans?

So, how many of the “net increase of just 500 (local jobs) from January 2015 to June 2016 (negative job change if we look at up to September 2016?)” went to Singaporeans?