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Thinking of doing an IT diploma/degree? Read this first.

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 18-06-2011, 08:37 PM
Posts: n/a

Globalisation has reared its ugly head in Singapore for the past few years and many PMETs increasingly find themselves being replaced by cheaper workers from abroad.

I am just an ordinary true blue Singaporean who started work in the private sector in 1998 after having completed my Navy contract of six and a half years.

I wished to share my painful experience of globalization in the financial sector – an industry that I have worked in for the past ten years.

I started as a contract IT engineer working in the local bank for almost 5 years since year 2000. They name this contract job as “Fixed Time Hirer” meaning that the contract would only be renewed yearly based on your service and performance. Talked about a lack of job security here…

I have given my utmost best to the clients I served and also taken a lot of projects from time to time to allow the employers to know that I am a good employee.

During this period, I was hoping to join them as a permanent staff after working with them for so many years but regardless of how much effort I have put into my work, they would not consider me for a permanent role.

After 2 years, another IT company bade for the contract and was successfully awarded the IT servicing agreement. We have to transit to this new company after negotiating the hiring agreement.

It has been a rough transition as there were many parties involved in amending the changes and processes eg IT policies , risks, services and charges.

After a while, I resigned from the company as I knew that the vicious cycle of politicking will never end even though I love the job scope over there.

Fortunately, I have already found an permanent IT job in one of the Swiss Investment Bank. It was fine during the first and second year and due to the career “mobility program” that the company has implemented across all departments and also based on my good performance – eventually I moved over to a permanent role called London Trade Support which required night shift duties.

Everything went smooth sailing until the year 2009 when Lehman went down which led to Asian financial crisis but there is minimal impact on my firm as they do not need any bailout from the government.

Surprisingly, they made an announcement in May 2009 that the whole operation department - which consisted of 200 plus mostly-local headcount – will be deployed by departmental level to India,

By Oct 2009, many cheaper faster Indian foreigners were sitting side by side with us for hands-on training conducted by soon-to-be-jobless local Singaporeans. The feeling is sickening to say the least.

Next, the management informed us to do a mobility interview so that we could be re deployed to India.

Many of us were also unsure how the mobility interview will turn out as it is perceived as a political game played to smoothen the attrition process. Ultimately, I believe, that most of us will be retrenched in due time.

There is another minority group of people who really struggled to stay afloat by going through the rounds of mobility interviews due to family commitments as they did not want to be jobless during this tough economic period.

Eventually, they also got depressed during this period as they faced competition from fellow colleagues fighting for the few roles which might eventually be also deployed to India. Friends sadly became enemies and I saw the ugly side of humanity here.

As for me, after going through 12 rounds of interviews for 6 different roles and was not eventually selected for even one though I have been working with the firm for 5 years – I felt totally lost and disappointed.

In fact, I am really ashamed of myself for not being able to hold on to a job all this while or tell anyone about my plight – I have totally lost confidence in whatever I do now.

I have been trying to understand the problem in a fair, rational and objective way but nothing could make me feel that anyone here in Singapore has benefited from such an open-door globalization system.

I agreed that we should not be closed up and that globalization is the necessary by product to an increased GDP but our government should not over look the basic needs of local Singaporeans from gaining access to equal employment rights.

I have tactfully raised the issue on the hiring of the Indian foreigners during the deployment exercise and asked the management whether are they really cheaper, faster and better?

Do they work more productively in the workplace or are they simply just cheaper?

Do they really possessed special skill sets and creativity that local home-grown Singaporeans lack?

The only lone answer we got from the management was: “They are cheaper.”

The Indian foreigners have nothing better to offer as they started with zero knowledge in the financial sector – I have to train them from scratch literally.

Not only do they displace our local Singaporeans from basic livelihood but we are also offered little protection from such massive re deployment exercise from our government. It was like you were been sent to the slaughter houses as sheep waiting to be axed and your guard dogs were not anywhere in sight.

I feel that the slew of work permits easily available to employers have effectively enslave Singapore to foreign investors. Its like selling our country away to foreigners out here to make a quick buck from our business-friendly environment.

More can be done to ensure that the basic needs of local Singaporeans are well taken care of first before we open up the flood gates of jobs to foreigners.

If we have to fight with our foreign friends for basic survival rights in our own country, how can I really conscientiously defend my own country when there is a war-like situation?

I don’t even feel belonged in my own country anymore…

Painful experience of a local PMET working in financial sector Life Stories Opinion TEMASEK REVIEW EMERITUS

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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 19-06-2011, 11:42 AM
Posts: n/a

IT recruiters are all non-singaporeans:
This is home: Fake Talents in Singapore?

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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 24-06-2011, 05:05 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 21
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Originally Posted by k3vin View Post
well, a lot of my friends in computer science nus, comp engin (software) ntu has received job offers in excess of 3k. So perhaps these are more stories that come from only one end of the pond?

Almost all of my friends who graduated are employed and as the percentages from the local uni/polys show, the large majority is employed with decent starting pay not pay along the lines of the foreign workers but 3k+ for uni grads.
It's really how things goes. You'll have to start from scratch then slowly reach up high. It's worth the wait.

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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 17-07-2011, 11:12 PM
Posts: n/a

Here's the light to job security conundrums in most industries:

Why do local folks procrastinate about dreary working motion, miserable remuneration, etc?
It's true indeed, that many faced retrenchment and had to relinquish their places to foreign workers. I too, for one, agree that there's a degree of affliction to our job security due to the colossal influx of foreign talents per se.

However, why don't we cast a critical eye on ourselves? Thus far, many posts that I've seen or came across stowed away individuals who have average to poor grades at school, holding a private degree or only a diploma. There are many other blatant factors but I believe this is by far the greatest infirmity that most locals have yet they choose to blame it solely on extrinsic factors.

I shan't begin any discourse on the effects of globalization or its effectual extent on Singapore as a capitalist society. The victims were right in this sense: Organizations cry "CHEAPER LABOUR engagement is in effect!" toward lower tier job positions as compared to unique or highly skilled positions. It's a fight between lowly rats. So why must they take your citizenship or dire straits into consideration LEST you are a SKILLED worker? Think about that.

To conclude, in lay portrayal, be exceptional or be extinguished. Either that or be extremely hardworking and determined. Irrespective of descent or government, one's success largely falls on one's work and credit. This begets employability, my friends.

With that, I humbly plead my case in acknowledging and concurring that most local varsity graduates don't have to deal with such conundrums disregarding inevitable crises, period.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 19-07-2011, 09:21 AM
Posts: n/a

Straits Times: Foreigners offer to 'pay' for employment passes
They will 'return' part of salary for pass allowing dependants in
By Melissa Kok & Amanda Tan

EMPLOY us and we will 'pay' you.

That offer was made to Mr Henn Tan, owner of a local technology firm, when he interviewed two men - a Myanmarese and a Filipino in their 20s. They had applied to work as a webmaster and a software engineer respectively.

The jobs, which pay at least $3,500 a month, would have earned them Employment Passes (EPs) here.

When told they were not qualified for the positions, they offered Mr Tan, 54, a deal: they would 'return' half their salaries to him each month, as long as he hired them on EPs.

Some foreigners are allegedly offering to return part of their salaries to prospective bosses if they are hired on the coveted EP, which now requires applicants to earn more in order to qualify.

EP holders - often graduates working in professional, managerial or specialist jobs - are allowed to bring their spouses and children to Singapore on Dependant's Passes.

Recounting the incident, which took place in April, Mr Tan, chief executive of Trek 2000 International, said: 'They told me if I allowed them to be hired on EP, they would 'kick back' the balance to me.' He rejected the offer.

But not all have stood firm. In the first three months of this year, five employers of EP and S Pass holders - usually mid-skilled workers - were taken to task for making false declarations in their work pass applications, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

False declarations could include inflated salaries and forged qualifications.

One employer was fined $5,000, while the rest were jailed between one and six months. Several others are currently being investigated.

In the first nine months of last year, 141 foreigners were convicted for lying in their work pass applications, up from 137 in the whole of 2009. MOM did not provide updated figures.

Seven out of 10 recruitment firms interviewed by The Straits Times said they had heard of such under-the-table deals.

In some cases, employers had artificially 'inflated' salaries so they could hire more foreigners. There is no cap on the number of EP holders a firm can hire - unlike lower-tier S Pass or work permit holders, who are subject to quotas...
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 13-09-2011, 09:45 AM
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Poor work-life balance causing IT shortfall?
by Tan Weizhen
04:46 AM Sep 13, 2011

SINGAPORE - As the IT industry in Singapore grapples with a shortfall in professionals, a survey has found that half of the IT professionals polled reported that they face more problems with work-life balance in their profession, compared to those in other occupations.

Conducted among 1,024 IT professionals and 692 students by the Singapore Computer Society (SCS), respondents said they have less time for their families and face stress that affects their ability to perform other roles in their lives.

This could be a major reason for the shortage of IT professionals here as well as why 23 per cent of respondents indicated they would leave the industry, said Mr Robert Chew, an SCS executive council member, who presented the survey findings at a media briefing yesterday.

Other factors include perceived lower salaries in the industry.

The survey also found that the most preferred industry for IT professionals and students was the financial sector but the sector only employs only 8 per cent of all the professionals surveyed.

TODAYonline | Singapore | Poor work-life balance causing IT shortfall?
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 13-09-2011, 12:54 PM
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The lower salaries are not perceived. They are factually lower.

Everybody should just quit and work in a bank.

All universities should only offer banking and finance degree courses. Close down all the other faculties.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 14-09-2011, 01:29 PM
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My degree is BIT.

I worked as software developer years ago.

Many of us switched from IT to another field upon graduation or a few years after graduation.

Reasons for switching field:
1. Horrible OT hours. Some companies expect us to work on Sat and Sun.
2. Abundance of cheap Indian foreigner programmers. The pay of software developers/programmers are suppressed.
We did not see the long-term prospects and benefits of continuing in software field.

Just sharing some light on how come locals are not willing to work as software developers/programmers.
copied from: Cannot Blame Singapore Companies - Flowerpod Forums - Beauty, Makeup, Skincare, Health, Lifestyle, Entertainment, Love & Relationships
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 14-10-2011, 03:12 PM
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Hmm... we should be more competitive and get out of our comfort zone... we must be ready to face global competition for our jobs! Keep on upgrading yourself.... I been retrencted 2 times in my career and found a job in 2 weeks with higher salary... Look at it at more positive way rather then all doom and gloom...

I'm think of actually doing a Phd after completing my masters... keep upgrading yourself and never give up!

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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 18-10-2011, 01:16 PM
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I agree the IT industry is a death trap for many Singaporeans. Those still interested should look into the future and try to figure out how many IT engineers and programmers (plus managers) will come from China, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, etc.
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