DPM Teo says 28,000 jobs to be created in Punggol but how many actually go to S’poreans?

Screenshot of the report by Today
by Vincent Low

At the launch of the 50-hectare Punggol Digital District’s masterplan on Sunday (21 Jan), Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said the opening of a new business and education hub in Punggol from 2023 will help create 28,000 jobs in fields such as cybersecurity and data analytic, creating job opportunities “close to home”.

He said the District will support government efforts to build a Smart Nation. He added that the relocation of the National Cyber Security Agency to the Punggol Digital District is also being studied.

“This will help seed a new cluster of cybersecurity and technology firms in Punggol. Our residents can look forward to many exciting jobs close to home, and gain new skills in these growth areas,” DPM Teo said.

However, he did not specify how many of these new jobs to be created would actually go to Singaporeans. Residents do include foreigners holding Permanent Residents status in Singapore. Also, he did not specify the percentage of the 28,000 jobs would be going to foreign expats too.

Proportion of local employment slipped from 82% to 61%

Over the years, with Singapore importing more “Foreign Talents” to work here, the proportion of resident employment had slipped from 81.8% in 1991 to 60.7% in 2016, according to the latest figures from MOM website.

In other words, for every 10 persons employed in Singapore, 6 are local residents and 4 are foreigners.

Note that MOM classifies foreigners with PR as “local residents”. So that means the actual proportion of Singaporeans employed would be even less than 60%.

Hence, it’s not known out of the 28,000 jobs to be created in Punggol as stated by DPM Teo, how many will actually go to Singaporeans – the pink IC holders.

At current rate, the proportion of resident employment would likely slip further below 60% by 2023.

Non-stop enquiries from FTs to work in Singapore

The chance of foreign expats taking a large portion of the 28,000 Punggol digital jobs appear to be high given the PAP govt’s pro-FT policy as well as the relentless enquiries observed on foreign expat sites by foreign PMETs.

And, despite having a Job Bank to give Singaporeans more chance to get a job in their own country, companies have no problem offering jobs to foreigners based overseas.
For example, this software person from India appears to have already secured himself a S$90K job in Singapore while he is serving notice in his present job in Bangalore.


It’s not known if the company has posted the required job ad on MOM’s Job Bank and interviewed all Singaporean applicants before giving the job to the Indian national for S$90K.

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