By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond
It was reported that during the Parliament session on Monday (10 Oct), Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say offered his solution to address the rising resident unemployment and retrenchments in the wake of a weak labour market in Singapore (https://theindependent.sg.sg/lim-
His solution is to transform the present National Jobs Bank into a “one-stop and non-stop online marketplace” that will help streamline the job hunt and career planning for Singaporean job seekers.
“We will transform the National Jobs Bank into a one-stop and non-stop online marketplace. Job seekers will be able to explore new career opportunities and conduct job searches anytime, anywhere without having to wait for the next job fair,” he said. He said this new job portal would target job seekers across age groups, from fresh graduates to mid-career workers and to mature workers.
It would also help to streamline career planning through the Skills Framework. But he did not say when this new “one-stop and non-stop online marketplace” would be launched.
Jobs Bank is a “wayang”
However, even before Minister Lim transforms the Jobs Bank into yet another online job portal, many Singaporeans have already been questioning the effectiveness of Jobs Bank, which requires an employer to advertise a job at the Jobs Bank portal for 14 days to attract Singaporean job seekers before they are allowed to employ foreigners on EP.
A blogger wrote about how useless the Jobs Bank is (‘The near-useless JobsBank‘).
“Back then, when I was unemployed and looking for a job, I tried so many of the openings ‘available’ on JobsBank, a Singapore Government initiative, to try and find a job but I had no response. Zero, zilch, nada,” he wrote.
“It is really frustrating because I, when I was looking for that job, had years upon years of experience and was not asking for an exorbitant salary. I mean, a worker is always worthy of his or her pay and I was not asking for the skies. Still, I heard nothing from them and after a few months of fruitless trying, I decided that JobsBank was pretty much useless and I am not the only one feeling this way. So to those looking for a job, do not give up. I eventually found one…and NOT through JobsBank”
Another forumer revealed (‘JobsBank is Wayang?‘), “My company had recruited an alien but cannot bring in soon. HR says must post 2 weeks in JobsBank so, we had to wait.”
jericho75 from HWZ asked (‘This jobbank.gov.sg seems like kinda of useless‘), “Companies must post ads inside for 14 days to hire sinkies before they are allow to hire FTs. If a company already have in mind to hire FTs, 14 days delay really makes any difference?”
lazysundae replied, “Nope. Just extra step for HR to do.”
shikoo joined in, “It’s for them to hire FTs, not sinkies.”
“Just a wayang show with no bite,” added plexxor.
“My boss put up 2 weeks advertising, he not free to see applicants. After 3rd week then start seeing applicants & interview, guess who is hired? Non-sinkie. What’s is 2 week for? Wayang… Gov don’t really care sinkiesss.. You die your problem,” he revealed.
Rant from a jobless millennial
On transitioning.org, a website dedicated to help the unemployed Singaporeans, a young millennial gave his views about the Jobs Bank.
“The Jobsbank and TAFEP is one big joke, posting an advertisement for 14 days does not stop corporations from hiring foreigners. They just wait it out. Market practice is to post the job advert AFTER having the foreign candidate, do you really think Singaporeans are hired?” he asked.
“WDA should post statistics of Singaporeans hired from the wayang Jobsbank! It is the worse recruitment portal I have seen. There are also so many exemptions from advertising, you want to implement then do it properly like Australia lar…”
According to the young man, jobs of intra-corporate transferees from foreign countries are exempted from advertising on Jobs Bank. He said, “I want to highlight on the intra-corporate transferee (ICTs). The requirement is so easy to fulfill, just need to work 1 year in country of origin then can come already… wah lau this is as good as open-door policy.”
“I know a famous IT firm (with HR friends inside) that tell the foreigner – local ratio is 10 foreigners to 1. They hire all the Indians on ICT on $8-10K salary – can you imagine coming from India with a 2K salary and then getting $8K in SG. Don’t come is idiot!” he added. “Don’t even get me started on the India-Singapore CECA!! I am astounded our millionaire scholars can agree to something like this.”
And according to MOM’s Fair Consideration Framework, companies are required to submit more information when applying for an EP for foreign staff so as to assess whether Singaporeans were considered fairly. This includes information on:
• The number of applications submitted by Singaporeans.
• Whether Singaporeans were interviewed for the vacancy.
• The firm’s current share of Singaporeans in PME positions.
“In practice, is this done? If yes, why haven’t catch any errand company in the news?” the young millennial asked. “I just feel so screwed over by the Government.”
The writer signed off by saying, “Just a late night rant from a sleepless Singaporean worried about his future.”
It looks like many Singaporean job seekers are not happy with the Jobs Bank and questioned its effectiveness. If the Jobs Bank itself does not help address the questions raised by netizens, how will Jobs Bank II (aka “one-stop and non-stop online marketplace” for jobs) help?