Mar 8, 2005

Employment Discrimination

KnightofPentacles muses on his unemployment situation, summing up precisely why yours truly has no intention of returning in a hurry. Nobody wants to be stuck in unemployment limbo for any period of time, or to put in plain Singlish: "No up no down".

If you think the education policies puts Singaporeans at a disadvantage, just wait until you start competing in the cut-throat work private sector environment. (There still exists barriers to entry for non-Singaporeans in the Civil Service.)

...I was chatting with a friendly recruitment agent ("headhunter") last Friday. What I heard ran a chill down my spine. According to the nice lady who runs the IT desk at the recruiter, there were quite a few positions open for skilled entry-level paying around S$2500 a month, and a couple positions open at the mid-levels. What was upsetting to me personally was that her clients are specifically rejecting Singaporeans for those positions.

Seems that clients are requesting Caucasian faces for the mid- to top-level positions to bolster the "image" for the company. It seems that having a Caucasian face on the "director" level helps open doors and to impress in the Singapore business world.

As for the cost-sensitive entry-level positions, the clients have specifically requested for India and PRC workers and are more than willing to apply for ('Q'-class) employment passes since it is cheaper than paying the extra CPF for Singaporeans, and the hassle of having male Singaporeans disrupt employment for National Service reservist every year. The 'S'-class employment pass has further dropped the minimum income level to a mere S$1800 with no CPF contributions for foreigners targetting entry-level positions.

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