It was reported by the media on Saturday (13 June) that a Ministerial Committee has been set up to guide digital adoption and create jobs in the digital economy.
The committee, called the Ministerial Committee for Digital Transformation, will focus to work with companies and the labour movement to create jobs in the info-communications and technology (ICT) sector, said Communications and Information Minister S Iswaran.
Iswaran, who chairs the committee with Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, said the current situation has presented an opportunity for Singapore to double down on its push towards a digital future.
“Our priority is to get Singaporeans into those jobs,” he said.
But even so, Iswaran did not forget about the hiring of “foreign talent”.
In response to a question on the possibility of firms turning to foreign talent to fill tech-related jobs, he replied, “We need to find a balance. So our strategy has always been to find a way to complement the local talent base with a judicious component of foreign talent so that it comes together in a way … that makes opportunities bigger for everyone.”
Paying $6K for foreign expat to “complement” Singaporeans in travel industry
Meanwhile, it was reported that a foreign expat working in the travel industry is earning a salary of S$6,000 a month, after getting a 20 per cent pay cut due to the current COVID-19 crisis.
His wife, Martha Liv, is said to be struggling to balance their home expenses.
A request to reduce their S$2,700 rental was rejected by their landlord and she now has to find ways to stretch the remainder of her husband’s pay check.
She no longer shops at supermarkets but goes to wet markets like the locals do. She buys regional ingredients rather than those imported from the West and manages the household herself without domestic help. The couple only has 1 child who is 17-month-old.
“It’s not cheap living here,” Martha said. “We’re taking from our savings for our normal expenses. How many months can you live on your savings?”
It’s not known why with a S$6,000 per month income, they have to dig into their savings for normal expenses when the nominal median income of locals on full-time employment is only S$4,563 (2019 figure).
However, the bigger question is, what skills does Martha’s husband have that Singaporeans don’t which allowed the government to issue him an Employment Pass to work here, so as to “complement the local talent base”?