Forum: Singaporean job seekers need to improve mindset, skills

The Ministry of Manpower's efforts to ensure the employability of our local candidates are commendable (Manpower policies focus on support for Singaporeans, June 26).

However, it is also advisable for our local job seekers to do some introspection and recalibrate their job mindset and skills.

A common grouse is that foreign workers land jobs more easily by undercutting the expected salaries of Singaporeans.

That may be true, but after factoring in the S Pass levy, employers often end up paying comparable wages to hire foreigners.

During sound economic periods, one trait of foreign workers favoured by employers is their higher perceived loyalty and commitment to stay longer in a company. Retraining every new worker drains capital and undermines productivity.

Cases abound where more mobile Singaporean workers resign to join other organisations after receiving company-sponsored training.

In some areas, Singaporeans, especially younger workers, may also need to beef up their knowledge and skills. Having worked with some fresh graduates and interns, I have to sadly concede that I am mostly impressed by how knowledgeable and expressive most young foreign talents are. In contrast, the young Singaporeans tend to fumble for solutions.

The contrast is likely not based on natural aptitude but on diligence and pride in one's work. I urge Singaporeans to spend more time preparing themselves for job opportunities.

Lim Chee Khiam