atans1

IT: FTs verseus locals

In Economy on 08/03/2016 at 2:44 pm

Talking about the infocomm industry Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim on Friday (Mar 4) said the industrt needs to fill as many as 30,000 new positions by 2020. He said “some companies today still want to recruit only university graduates. We know from assessments that our polytechnic graduates can hold their own against university graduates when they are judged by competencies, not qualifications. Companies who ignore this will miss out on a well-qualified pool of talent.”

The part about employing poly grads and not grads sounds sick in the light of what a reader responding to this (on the terrible prospects of getting a job in our neighbourhood) said

Singapore is really a city paved with gold for foreigners with degrees but coming from smaller cities and towns. My job sometimes involves overseas mass recruitment and interview exercises (largely paid for by S’pore tax payers, haha). These foreigner profiles typically get imported into Singapore on S-Pass getting about $2,300-$2,500 per month. Essentially these foreigners are direct competition against local fresh diploma grads or even the lousier degree holders e.g. private uni, or lousy grades etc.

Comparing the pay of most of these foreign graduates in their home towns, the $2,300 they’re getting here is equivalent to at least 1 year’s pay in their home towns/smaller cities.

Imagine your monthly salary is $100K or whatever your annual remuneration is, and you get some idea of what motivates these foreigners.

Well so long as employers can recruit FT grads why will they bother about local diploma holders and inexperienced local grads?

But Yaacob also said the infocomm talent pool can be grown through skills conversion and upgrading*, and that companies must look beyond the traditional sources of manpower.

Could the bit I bolded be a code to employers: No more FT Indians? A few years ago, a social activist who works in the IT sector told me that until the 1998 regional crisis, local PMETs in this industry had a great time because there was little competition from FTs: govt was strict on employment passes. Then, the govt allowed in FTs (primarily from India) to help companies cut costs and also to encourage banks to set-uop their regional, global back-office hubds here.

That he said screwed our locals.

So could the govt really be reversing this “FTs first and foremost” policy? What do you think?

——

*He said:

— the Government will also introduce new programmes in April to help the industry; and

—  there is a need for companies to review their HR (human resources) to meet the needs for the future.

 

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  1. The Y2K boom in IT recruitment made it a great time for IT professionals in the late 1990s. That disguised the deteriorating employment dynamics from foreign PMET recruitment until Y2K was passed.

  2. […] – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: IT: FTs verseus locals […]

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