Netizens not convinced of Minister Lim's assurance of jobs

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By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond

Following Acting Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung announcing that there are thousands of jobs waiting to be filled, especially in the IT sector (http://theindependent.sg/acting-minister-ong-we-have-thousands-of-jobs-waiting-to-be-filled), Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say also joined in to assure Singapore workers about the availability of jobs despite the slowdown of Singapore’s economy.

Speaking at a career event for the IT sector yesterday, Minister Lim said that there are currently more than 8,500 job vacancies posted in the Jobs Bank. He also quoted an IDA survey conducted last year saying that there were more than 20,000 IT job vacancies available in the various sectors.

“Technology is fast changing, and offers endless opportunities for us to exploit as a smart nation, and export as a leading ICT hub,” he added. “With the rapid emergence of digital economy and our vision of Smart Nation, we will see exciting growth in jobs and career options in ICT for years to come.”

He highlighted 2 challenges faced by IT jobseekers – “missed match” and “mismatch”. The first refers to the difficulty of jobseekers to keep track of where and what jobs that could be suitable for them. The second refers to jobseekers not having the right skills, expertise and experience for the job they want to apply for.

This is because of the fast pace of technological change and many need to re-learn so as to remain or re-enter the IT sector, he said. In this regard, he announced 2 new initiatives yesterday, which are driven by Singapore Computer Society (SCS), NTUC, IMDA, WSG, SSG.

The first initiative is Integrated Career Services for TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA ICS), a support network to help update IT professionals and jobseekers on the availability of jobs and careers, and the types of training and knowledge needed to stay relevant in the industry.

The second is the SkillsFuture Career Advisors Programme which SCS will provide IT veterans to help mentor and give advice to PMET job seekers. More than 100 advisors have already signed up to offer their help.

Netizens fear Govt would import more FTs

However, online, netizens do not seem to be convinced of the government’s initiatives to “help” Singaporean jobseekers. Many of the retrenched Singaporean PMETs were replaced by foreigners in the past, thanks to the government’s liberal open-door FT policy. Understandably, once bitten, they remain skeptical of the government.

One netizen by the name of Jacob Chiong even posted publicly a negative comment on state-owned media TODAYOnline website to condemn Minister Lim’s initiatives. He thinks the government will open the floodgates for more IT professionals from India to work here:
jacobFearing that the government would let in more foreigners for IT jobs in Singapore, a forumer on HWZ also said, “I randomly surf job street for IT posts. Clicked on who also applied this job thing, knn ccb, FT who applied for the jobs are always more than local applicants. Is local no skills or really many FTs here. They are in sg already or what ?”

Another, like many other netizens who have already pointed out the major flaw in Jobs Bank, posted the following picture:
jobsbankIt illustrates that companies put up jobs advertisement in Jobs Bank merely to “wayang” (http://theindependent.sg/jobs-banks-effectiveness-is-questionable-so-how-would-one-stop-non-stop-jobs-bank-ii-help).

As mandated by MOM, companies need to put up an advertisement in Jobs Bank for 2 weeks to try “attract” local applicants first before hiring any foreigners on EP. However, they can still go ahead to hire foreigners, ignoring any of the local job applicants. They can easily give the excuse to MOM that our locals are not “qualified” enough, something that is very subjective and hard to verify.

Then, on the other side of the coin, you have Indian nationals who are already working in Singapore trying to hire or influence hiring of their compatriots. They work with “consultants” to bring in other Indian nationals to work in Singapore. Following is a post found on coderanch.com, a popular site for programmers to seek help and exchange codes:
saiThe author signed off his post by encouraging others to apply for jobs in Singapore. “It’s not waste of time trying for a job in Singapore. After all, Singapore is not a paradise.”