In an interview with The Straits Times, many employers are complaining about the lack of foreign staffs and the increasing difficulty to fill in job vacancies. Ms Serene Tan, director of department store BHG, said:

“It’s taking a longer time to fill vacancies. Information technology (IT) staff and managerial level roles (now) take up to six months to fill, compared with two to three months in the past.”

Other employers are also complaining about their inability to expand and take up new businesses because of the shortage of manpower. Senior Manager of Operations at Tian San Shipping, Mr Chin Tze Chung said:

“We can’t even undertake some tenders because we don’t have the manpower.”

Another employer, Mr Kelvin Ho, a Managing Director of Intercontinental Logistics, said that the lack of manpower has driven out many factories away from Singapore:

“If factories are not coming to Singapore, we might as well close down,” he said, adding that he is considering moving the company to somewhere like Jakarta or Vietnam, where hiring would be easier.”

Just recently, the Cathay Restaurant has also closed down citing the lack of manpower as issue.

Photo from MOM
Photo from MOM

Employers in Singapore have long benefited from the Singapore Government’s loose immigration policies over the past 10 years from 2005, which has readily over-supplied the market with labour both skilled and unskilled. The negative impact is a depression of salaries and a falling productivity as employers turn to cost saving on labour for profits.

Unlike other first world countries, the Singapore Government has no plans to improve the quality of immigrants by enforcing an English Language test or accreditation of their degree certificates. The new Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say even condone having fake degree holders in the job market, saying that working experience suffice as qualification as well.

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Cathay Restaurant: We are shutting down due to manpower shortage