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While gov’t continues supporting foreign students to study and work in SG, 47K have applied to become Uber or Grab drivers




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In a Parliamentary reply early this month (1 Aug), Transport Minister Khaw revealed that LTA has received some 47,000 applications to become Uber or Grab drivers.

“LTA has received about 47,000 Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational License (PDVL) applications, and about 1,600 have been rejected. Applicants are rejected either because they have failed background checks, do not meet the driving experience requirement, or have poor driving records,” he said.

Starting last month (1 Jul), LTA requires that Uber and Grab drivers need to be licensed. It started accepting PDVL applications in March this year. In the 4 months, it has already received 47,000 applications.

More Singaporean PMETs becoming Uber or Grab drivers

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Data revealed by MOM shows that more Singaporean PMETs are losing their jobs. In a report last year, said that PMETs took longer to find a job after they were retrenched.

DBS economist Irvin Seah said the growing number of displaced PMETs could exacerbate the problem of under-employment if the new jobs they find do not match their qualifications. “Imagine bankers or production managers who are retrenched and become Uber drivers. We are not fulfilling the full potential of the labour force and this will become a problem,” he added.

On Transitioning.org, a website dedicated to cater to the emotional needs of unemployed Singaporeans, a reader complained that the gov’t isn’t interested in helping the locals at all.

“They only made things worse by letting in more and more foreigners (into Singapore),” he wrote. “We have given up looking for any jobs, it is wasting our time and the only jobs available are security guards and cleaners – even though we are graduates.”

The reader, a graduate, ended up driving Uber to make a living.

Govt decides to subsidize tuition fees of foreign students and let them work in SG

There may be some truth with regard to the reader’s complaint that the govt is more interested in getting foreigners into Singapore, thereby competing with Singaporeans for jobs. Any population growth would automatically help to increase GDP growth as more consumption helps to fuel more economic activities.

Hence, it is not surprising that the govt welcomes more foreign students to study in Singapore, even giving them tuition grants and allowing them to stay in Singapore after their graduation to get jobs.

This policy can be seen on MOE website.


“For all non-Singaporean students, in exchange for the grant received under the Tuition Grant Scheme, they are required to apply for Tuition Grant and sign a Tuition Grant Agreement in which they will be contractually obliged to work in a Singapore entity for three years upon graduation.”

On NUS website, it even advises foreign students on how to go about applying for a Long Term Visit Pass upon graduation so as to give them time to search for jobs in Singapore:

“Working in Singapore after graduation

For international students hoping to work in Singapore after graduation, the latest updates on work visas and employment regulations can be downloaded from the Ministry of Manpower’s website.

Should you require a longer period of stay to look for jobs upon completion of your courses, you may apply for a one-year (non-renewable) long-term social visit pass at the ICA’s Social Visit Pass Unit. The latest updates are posted on the ICA’s website.”

Meanwhile, as more “cheaper” foreign graduates continue to flood the job market of Singapore, salaries continue to be repressed and local PMETs continue to be displaced. Expect to see more graduates driving Ubers and Grabs on the road from now on.

source: WWMGFTR
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