I have an anecdotal experience about WDA and JobBank for a Singaporean lady in her 30s who used to be a senior regional marketing head for a MNC payment company, not much different from MasterCard.

I’m telling her story because she is one of the most conscientious people I know, always responsible and producing the results when it counts. Her promotion to the regional head role at her previous firm is testament of her hard work, abilities and attitude. Definitely not those talk only, cannot deliver type of worker.

She was retrenched last year when the marketing head was changed to a FT.

The MNC company, her marketing role position and her FT boss are still around in Singapore.

She had applied to all the marketing jobs available then in the market, including through the useless WDA JobBank which listed many MNC regional/Asia-Pacific marketing role. She was hopeful initially as her 10-years plus experience and skillsets were a perfect fit at these MNCs’ marketing roles.

After 3-4 months, there was still no news, she had no choice but turned to WDA for assistance. They counselled her, advising that she needed re-training and preparation for a career change and asked her to lower expectations in her job search etc. and then sent her to some 2-day CV courses, taught by one of those ex-PMET trainers who were previously retrenched themselves and thus were teaching courses there on Government’s grants and subsidies.

WDA spammed her with the same JobBanks jobs and she applied for more than 200 of them of and guess what? She received ZERO interviews or call ups.

In the end, through her own effort, she took more than ten months to find another position, doing e-marketing for online IT courses. Her salary was one-third of what she used to get and the job is ill-fitting for her decade-long international/regional marketing experience, talents and skills.

So today, she is definitely under-employed in her own country, barely making ends meet while her daily living cost kept creeping up. She has also sensibly gave up driving at the third month of her unemployment and relied on public transport for her new job from her Simei home to Science Park II.

So her standard of living definitely did go down too.

She went through all these whilst her previous MNC company, job, role and functions are still around here in Singapore enjoying all the security and tax-perks.

Over the same period, Singapore also created many relevant good-paying jobs and roles as can be seen on the WDA JobBank and that she applied to, but were never called up.

And Singapore imported more than 369,000 FTs last year to do PMET roles…..

Of the 369,000 PMETs positions, how many can 100,000 unemployed Singaporeans not be able to do?

And we have not even examined the issues of under-employed Singaporeans in their own country.

What’s the logic? Do our civil servant planners have simple economic sense?

I know some people think it is fun and exciting to suddenly see so many new races appearing in Singapore. It’s okay to feel that way, but let’s think logically. We cannot feed these new arrivals forever. If we continue to sacrifice our job opportunities to these foreigners, what’s left for real Singaporeans whose families have been here for decades, working hard to build Singapore throughout the years? Diversity for the sake of diversity may seem fun, but it doesn’t feed the hungry mouths at home.

A.S.S. Contributor

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