Published Date: 28 April, 2015
Myth #1: Singaporean PMETs are losing out to foreign PMETs in the job market
It’s a common concern that Singaporean Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMET) are facing stiff competition from foreigners in the job market and losing out on a wide scale. If this is true, the unemployment rate of Singaporean PMETs would have increased over the years. However, statistics from Ministry of Manpower (MOM) shows that the unemployment rate of Singaporean PMETs have remained low at 2.9% in 2014.
Myth #2: Foreign PMETs are driving wages down
Another concern is that the presence of stiff competition from foreign PMETs would drive wages of Singaporean PMETs down across the board. However, MOM’s data shows that real median income growth, that is income growth adjusted for inflation, grew by about 2% per year between 2009 and 2014.
Myth #3: The Government is not helping Singaporean PMETs
There are concerns that the Government is not doing enough to help Singaporean PMETs stay ahead in an increasingly competitive job market and changing business environment. This isn’t true.
First, the Government has gradually tightened the foreign PMET growth rate. The growth rate of foreign PMETs, usually on Employment or S Pass, have slowed down from 20% in 2011 to 4% in 2014 year-on-year.
Next, the Government has measures to ensure that companies based in Singapore adhere to fair employment practices. MOM takes a tough stance against discriminatory hiring practices and will thoroughly investigate each case. However, time is needed for due process to take its course.
Lastly, the Government is investing in Singaporean PMETs so that they can stay competitive and relevant in an ever-evolving business environment. The Government has increased the training and education subsidies for Ministry of Education (MOE) and Workforce Development Agency (WDA) funded courses to a minimum of 90%. This subsidy is available to all Singaporeans aged 40 and above. In addition, MOM has increased the basic monthly salary support for employers who hire Singaporean PMETs on the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) to 90%. The PCP is targeted at PMETs aged above 40 who have been unemployed for 6 months or more.