Unemployed local IT professional has to unfairly compete for job with foreigners?

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By: Leong Sze Hian

A friend who has been unemployed for more than a year, after being laid off by a multi-national company (MNC) in Singapore (and despite sending more than a hundred job applications without success), alerted me to the following job posting.

The vacancy is for an IT Applications Analyst (ERP System & Software applications), and the advertisement is by a recruitment firm, BGC Group Pte Ltd.

My friend is applying for the vacancy and has more than 20 years relevant working experience, as well as information technology and accounting professional qualifications. And since a local has the skills, experience and training for the job, why must she compete with a foreigner for the vacancy?

Since such PMET jobs must be posted in the National Jobs Bank to give Singaporeans priority, why does the job ad say twice that it is also posted in Indonesia jobstreet website?

A cursory search shows that so far, there are 53 applicants for the vacancy (21 foreign and 32 local) – the closing date being 3 June.

The consistent rhetoric in the media that ‘PMET IT jobs are the fastest growing jobs sector and that there is a severe shortage of Singaporeans to fill the jobs available’ do not seem to connect with the reality on the ground.

As I understand, there are many well qualified but unemployed local IT professionals in Singapore and they face unfair competition from foreigners vying for the same jobs. Is that fair?