Technological advancements has created new jobs. However, there is a job mismatch. Fresh graduates are likely to hold out against taking on initial offers from prospective employers due to a variety of reasons. For instance, job seekers may not be fully trained for that particular role and apprehension sets in. Coupled with low starting salaries due to foreign competition, job seekers would then likely adopt a wait and see attitude. Hence, the conundrum.
Coming away from the G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting, the Minister of Manpower, Tan Chuan Jin, has shared concerns that trends in Singapore could lead to unemployment problems that the nation’s workforce has generally felt immune from.
In a recent blog post, the minister related stories from many of his G20 counterparts in relation to jobs crises. He writes about how many of the developed nations are still suffering from weakened employment markets, saying, “The realities are different and stark for my G20 counterparts. In the various sessions over these few years, my colleagues at the G20 have been repeatedly calling for stronger economic growth and jobs creation. In particular, the constant lament is about high levels of youth unemployment.”
In continuing the post, Minister Tan expresses a concern that the jobs market in Singapore could also be following many of the trends that led to employment troubles abroad. He talks about meeting with company owners and job recruiters who find that it can often be difficult to fill positions due the fact that many Singaporeans have exceedingly high expectations and demands for their potential employers.
“Just recently, I met the owner of a foreign IT set up at a dialogue session. Although his company had been operating in Singapore for a while, he shared that he was thinking of shifting operations to Vietnam… I asked if it was because of a lack of talent here. It wasn’t. Was the salary he was offering too low? That didn’t seem to be the case either, as some of the starting jobs were at a fairly attractive $4,000 to $5,000. The crux of the problem was the fact that the job required shift work, as they supported operations round the clock. Many Singaporeans, on hearing that, were not interested.”
Singapore has enjoyed some of the best unemployment numbers in the world recently. While this is great news for the country, some believe that it is starting to lead to a workforce that has a high sense of entitlement. If employers can find quality professionals in neighboring countries, this could lead too much of the business world phasing out some of their Singapore operations for a workforce that is less demanding and this could lead to unemployment troubles at home.