HR in Asia reported in March 2017 that Vietnam iss considering to send thousands of its unemployed graduates to work abroad – and Singapore is among one of the target countries identified by its Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA).
The article quoted the deputy chair of Vietnam Association of Manpower Supply as saying that Vietnamese workers in Information Technology sent to Singapore are being welcomed.
Vietnam has about 200,000 unemployed bachelor’s degree graduates, but a recent Bloomberg article said that its “colleges and universities are failing to prepare youth for more complex work.”
One 25-year-old who spoke to the publication said: “In university, we only received heavy theoretical training and a lot of Ho Chi Minh’s ideology with communist party history.”
The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that the local firms are reluctant to pay more for Vietnamese workers with degrees that often lack commensurate skills. Viet college students reportedly spend much of their first two years learning about revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh, socialism and party history at the expense of critical thinking and other skills expected by employers.
The Government of Singapore has insisted that the majority of non-resident foreign workers in Singaporeans are not here to compete with Singaporeans for high-paying professional, managerial, executive, technical (PMET) jobs.
In 2015 just before the General Election, PM Lee said that “when a (foreign) PMET comes to compete with a (local) PMET, (his government has) a political problem.”
He said that his government will “make sure that the PMETs get a fair opportunity, that they fairly treated and that we are not overwhelmed by an inflow which is squeezing our own people.”
PMETs account for half the workforce in Singapore.
The Ministry of Manpower has also refused to provide a breakdown of the number of foreign workers by nationality, saying that it is not in Singapore’s interest to do so. The Government has maintained that disclosing such detailed data may create sensitivities among certain groups.