Updated: May 5
NTUC will consider 'ring fencing' certain jobs like HR to help local Professionals, Managers and Executives (PMEs) - Ng Chee Meng.
I like what I have read but I want to sound a word of caution.
Over the years, it is true that many local PMEs have been replaced by foreign PMEs in their work places. Chats with friends, neighbours, ex-colleagues or former NS mates over dinners or drinks will easily attest to that. Sad stories are plentiful. It is not difficult to encounter middle-aged former PMEs now reduced to become Grab drivers and more.
Many factors are at play that lead us to this sorry state of our employment landscape under the weak PAP government.
Among them, foreign male PMEs are not liable for reservist call-ups and are not required to make CPF contributions which make them more attractive and cheaper to employers, not forgetting many of whom also do not have young families tagging along which thus free them from familial commitments and demands.
Ng Chee Meng's announcement will probably pacify Singaporean PMEs for a while and make those simple-minded ones happy, however, I do not hope that ring fencing talk is a mere symbolic rhetoric, a flash in the pan thing.
Ring fencing certain jobs such as those in Human Resource is but a mere start; many other agendas too warrant significant attention.
They include a holistic review of employment cost structures between local PMEs vs foreign ones, relooking whether our polytechnics alongside tertiary institutions are offering relevant courses and are producing Singaporean graduates relevant to what our industries and economy need, whether our Government Linked Companies (GLCs) are leading examples of nurturing our own local talents to take on bigger and heavier responsibilities or guilty of liberally employing foreign PMEs at our local PMEs' expense and if MOM's granting of employment passes is too lackadaisical etc.
The government is the biggest employer in Singapore and its many GLCs are big employers too. It is not unreasonable to expect them to lead the way and give preferential employment opportunities to our own PMEs despite their reservist disruptions, CPF and other additional costs and maternity leave considerations etc. Our educational institutions are not producing sub-standard graduates and charity must begin at home. There are costs and consequences to being just penny wise.
After all, if our employers won't even desire to accord our own PMEs better employment opportunities in our own country, who will?