'Full time positions for foreigners and contracts for Singaporeans' – local PMET jobless for 18 months laments

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By: Transitioning

I graduated from a local university and my career path is somewhat similar as the author of the article ‘Lady PMET with first class honours jobless and asking for more labour protection‘. It took me 1 year and 1 month before I got my first job at a MNC for $1800.

Median pay for grads few yrs ago was $3300 and I am only asking for $2600.

Needless to say, in the MNC, senior staff are FT and support staff are locals because they need the locals to meet quota to hire FT.

What made me more upset is that, we locals are filled in lower jobs and very often they don’t offer full time positions to us.

Locals are treated like second class citizens, contractors. I was upset why foreign talents (FT) are given full time jobs and locals have to settle for contracts. And there is nothing that the government is doing to resolve this problem.

My second job was also in a MNC. Same case here as well – FT all in senior management and locals were put on a support staff position. Again I had to settle for a contract position.

And after 2 years they told me they don’t want me anymore because of reorganisation.

Therefore as a non full time stuff, there is no retrenchment package.

Previously when the company restructures, the FT were given job placement internally either in another dept or in their home country. When it comes to me, I was just told “sorry, we cant hold you anymore due to change in management”.

I had since been looking for a role for more than 18 months and to no avail. Be it within the same or outside the industry, I don’t seem to be able to get anything.

I wrote in to MOM and they say its my CV problem. But I have already engaged professional consultants’ advise therefore I’m not convinced by them.

They helped me contact some of the employers which I applied for jobs in sg job bank then the HR told them “yes, we received and reviewed the CV and we find the CV interesting and suitable. However, we are not considering him for this position now but we will keep his CV should there be a suitable position”.

When MOM told me this, I was upset it is just a gracious way of saying sorry we are not shortlisting him but the MOM staff still take it very positively believing that they will really keep my profile in their mind.

I looked through the job description and the required experience, I think I am of a good match but I’m not even shortlisted and there is nothing the Ministry of maanpowervcan do to help a poor local like me.

When I questioned them via email saying the Minister for Manpower promised to develop a Singaporean-core workforce and that jobs in the SG JObs Bank are to be prioritised for the local workforce, their reply was like a copy and paste from a FAQ somewhere. I was told that the jobs bank is only one channel for prospective employers to advertise but that they can’t be forced to hire candidates that apply via the job bank.

I feel that such statements are just telling me that the existence of the jobs bank is redundant. I can go jobstreet or any other sites and I am still met with the same competition. There is no advantage with the SG Jobs Bank at all. I’m very upset about the situation but there is nothing I can do about it.

I feel sour when the Singapore media keeps reporting about the low unemployment rate and tight labour market. It’s sad that FTs earning salaries to support their families elsewhere, when I a local can’t even support myself or make a living in Singapore to support myself.