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Getting jobs in Singapore not easy for foreigners now

world Updated: Sep 24, 2013 11:25 IST

Soon Singapore government will introduce a new employment policy to encourage locals in professional, managerial and executive (PME) positions which are hitherto being grabbed by foreigners.

Singaporeans have long been complaining about foreigners taking up decent jobs in recent years. Last year, there were 303 complaints relating to work place discrimination, up from 277 in 2011, according to employment watchdog Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices.

Acting manpower minister Tan Chuan-Jin said that the policy would include measures to ensure that Singaporeans get a fair chance of landing a PME job under the ministry's 'fair consideration framework'.

The measures will include advertisement of PME jobs in government jobs bank from August 2014. This is especially applicable to those firms which have more than 25 employees and are paying less than $ 12,000 (Singapore) a month to an employee.

The free advertisement will have to be ready 14 days before a company applies for an employment pass (EP) to hire a foreigner PME. Those failing to advertise with the jobs bank, would have their EP rejected.

Foreigner working under EP would also have a higher starting salary of $ 3,300 a month from next January, up from $ 3,000.

But Tan also insisted that the new employment conditions were not a 'Hire Singaporeans first' policy.

"Singaporeans must still prove themselves able and competitive to take on the higher jobs that they aspire to," a newspaper quoted Tan as saying.

The ministry warned that it would keep a close watch on the companies with few Singaporeans in PME jobs and those with repeated complaints of unfair hiring practices.