Poly graduates’ starting salary rise after remaining flat for 2 years

I refer to the article “Salaries for polytechnic graduates rise after remaining flat for 2 years” (Straits Times, Jan 8).

It states that “A graduate employment survey, conducted by the five polytechnics on the class of 2015, showed that those in full-time employment earned a gross monthly salary of about $2,100.

In the previous two years, the salary remained at $2,000.

But the proportion of those with full-time permanent jobs, though, fell from 59.4 per cent for the class of 2014 to 57.9 per cent for those graduating last year.

The polytechnics said most of the graduates taking on part-time or temporary work said they were doing so because they were pursuing or preparing to commence further studies”.

Full-time jobs shrank by 17.4%?

One possible contributory factor for the increase in salary from $2,000 to $2,100, may be that those with full-time permanent jobs has continued to shrink by 17.4 per cent from 75.3 per cent in 2007 to 59.4 per cent in 2014, and now to 57.9 per cent.

5% increase in university places = 17.4% drop in full-time employment?

As to “With the expansion of university places last year, among polytechnic graduates, 20 per cent of them won a place in a publicly-funded university this year.

A few years ago, the figure stood at about 15 per cent” – how can a 5 per cent increase in university places (20 – 15 per cent), account for a 17.4 per cent (75.3 – 57.9 per cent) decrease in full-time permanent jobs?

Economically active decrease by 4.1%? 

The proportion of economically active polytechnic fresh graduates seems to have continued to decline by 4.1 per cent from 93 per cent in 2007 to 89.2 per cent in 2014, and now to 88.9 per cent (overall employment rate).

Why no statistics on “part-time” graduates?

Why are there no statistics as to the salaries of  those in part-time or temporary employment, since their percentage has jumped to 31 per cent?

How many unemployed?

Why are there no statistics on how many are unemployed? Does the overall employment rate of 88.9 per cent mean that 11.1 per cent are unemployed, since as I understand it – those pursuing further studies full-time are not counted in the graduates’ employment survey statistics?

Real starting salary growth -1% last 8 years?

The median starting salary for full-time permanently employed polytechnic fresh graduates increased by only 23.5 per cent from $1,700 in 2007 to $2,100 in 2015. As inflation from 2007 to November 2015 was about 24.7 per cent – does it mean that the real starting salary growth was -1.2 per cent (23.5 – 24.7) over the eight years?

Huge influx of foreign workers?

To what extent has the huge influx of foreigners to an estimated non-Singaporean share of the total workforce to 48 per cent now, and our liberal foreign labour policies contributed to the above?


Leong Sze Hian

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