A quick search on job portal Jobstreet shows a troubling trend impacting prospective jobs for Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) where foreign job applicants with a bachelor’s degree ask for a minimum salary of around $1875 compared to the minimum salary of at least $3000 locals with the same qualifications expect for the same job.
A job listing for a senior executive at a Singapore-based shipping company helps to illustrate this trend. The company has advertised for an Accounting Receivables Supervisor – a position that has attracted applications from 119 local applicants and 45 foreign applicants so far.
The comparison of local and foreign applicants for this job listing shows that the lowest expected salary for a local applicant with a bachelor’s degree is $3000. This applicant, an audit executive, has 6 years professional experience.
Meanwhile, the lowest expected salary a foreign applicant with a bachelor’s degree has listed for the same job is PHP 70,000 – or S$1875. This applicant is a customer service team leader with eight years experience.
The second lowest expected salary a foreign applicant with a bachelor’s degree has listed for the same job is INR 100,000 – or S$2096. This applicant is an insurance coordinator with seven years experience.
The lowest expected salary a foreign applicant with a bachelor’s degree who has experience as an executive in the accounting sector has listed for the same job is S$2400. This applicant is an accounting supervisor with three years experience.
There is still a stark S$600 gap between the lowest expected salary of this applicant with the lowest expected salary of a local applicant. This amounts to a S$7200 gap between the foreign and local applicant over 12 months and a S$7,800 gap over 13 months.