Singapore wants to attract highly skilled expats

Singapore has devised a new system to identify unusually high talent, or ‘super skills’ in expats. The system is points-based, and scores factors including education, skills, and how expats’ nationalities contribute to diversity in their company. It is set to start in September.

Singapore’s Manpower Minister said business chambers and companies have welcomed the scheduled points system. He told Bloomberg Television the system will help them find higher-calibre foreigners.

“Rather than open the door and let every single one in, what we are trying to say is that let’s have a little bit more differentiation”.

Singapore faces a shortage of workers across both labour sectors, and high-skilled sectors, now that many foreigners have left the country due to strict border controls during Covid-19.

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When the system is implemented, expats wanting to work in Singapore will apply for an employment pass to be scored. Singapore already uses the employment pass system, and 14% of foreign workers in the country’s financial and business sector have an employment pass. In September, however, the employment pass system will adopt the points system to identify foreigners with higher skills. The minister also said he hopes more flexible work schedules will attract highly educated women and older employees.

The points system aims to address concerns among Singaporeans that employers have a bias toward hiring foreigners. The minister said resentment toward foreigners is not widespread, however the new system will help gain Singaporeans’ trust in employers.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.