Photo of SIM UOL graduates from blogger

A SIM fresh graduate interviewed by state media Straits Times revealed that after sending over 40 resumes, he received only one offer that pays only S$2,000 a month. 26-year-old Sebastian Tay is a fresh graduate in accounting and finance from University of London, and studied for 3 years in a Singapore partner school, SIM Global Education. He told the state media that he know of alumni from the previous year who is still unemployed after over a year.

“There are seniors in the university who have graduated last year but still cannot find permanent jobs.”

Sebastian had sent over 40 resumes since two months ago in March, and was only called up for 3 interviews at two human resource (HR) company and a bank. One of the HR companies offered a sales job with a S$2,000 ex-CPF basic pay with commission ex-CPF. Sebastian believed he can get a better offer of at least S$2,500 ex-CPF and turned the job down:

“I am hoping to get $2,500 to $2,800 (ex-CPF) per month. This is the starting pay of fresh graduates.”

However Sebastian is wrongly impressed that S$2,800 ex-CPF is the start pay of fresh graduates: The median fresh grad salary for 2016 was S$3,360 ex-CPF. A S$2,000 ex-CPF basic salary is even lower than the S$2,500 diploma graduates who completed National Service are getting, according to the Joint Polytechnic Graduate employment survey in 2015.

The account and finance degree holder then said that if he still could not find a full-time job soon, he will be a taxi driver:

“There is news of retrenchments. I hope to give my parents money, but they will understand if I cannot find full-time work.. I can drive Uber or Grab.”

When asked what happens if he still could not find a full-time job after a year, Sebastian resignedly said he will just accept a S$2,100 ex-CPF job:

“Maybe $2,100 per month, as long as the company offers good long-term prospects.”

Unemployment rate in Singapore has hit a 7-year-high at 3.2% while total job losses amount to a 14-year-high of 6,500. The Singapore government however blames the disastrous employment prospects to “technology disruption” and aging population, but no mention was made on the presence of the 45% foreigner population in the workforce. A fresh graduate from a third world country like Philippines or India can qualify for an Employment Pass visa with a minimum wage of S$3,600 CPF-free – this amount is the take-home pay of a S$4,500 ex-CPF a Singaporean worker draw.