It was reported that Singapore is facing a severe tech crunch in the technology sector as more tech giants expanding operations in the city-state.
Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation Initiative Vivian Balakrishnan earlier said that the information communications sector would require another 60,000 professionals over the next three years.
There were nearly 10,000 tech-related job postings on a government-run careers portal in mid-September last year, the Ministry of Communication told Reuters on Wednesday (27 January).
The Ministry noted that another 6,800 jobs and traineeships would be created by June this year through industry partnerships.
NodeFlair, a curated recruitment marketplace, revealed that up to 500 new tech vacancies are posted each week on job sites.
Commenting on this, the Economic Development Board (EDB) said that Singapore attracts “healthy interest” from global tech companies keen to expand operations.
Some of the companies expanding in Singapore are including China’s Tencent, Bytedance, U.S-based Zoom Video Communications, Unicorn Grab, and Sea Ltd.
“We constantly seek to ensure companies who set up here have access to a strong Singaporean workforce complemented by a diverse foreign workforce,” said Managing Director Chng Kai Fong.
Lei Hsien Hsien, chief executive officer at the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, said some member companies have been expanding their operations in the city-state and are looking to hire more data scientists and coders, but the supply is “relatively weak”.
“So the demand is very strong but the supply is relatively weak, which then slows down some of the expansion plans,” she noted.
Some headhunters told Reuters that the pandemic-induced border curbs across the globe are also delaying overseas hiring and exacerbating the shortage.
They noted that some tech professionals can even command up to 30 per cent increase in salary when they switch jobs.
Daljit Sall at recruitment firm Randstad opined that it would not be sustainable, adding that he expects salaries to even out once borders reopen and the talent pools develop.
In the comment section of TODAY’s Facebook post, netizens commented that the Government is using “more excuses” to import foreign talents into the country, instead of using resources to train local talents.
One user, in particular, opined that the Government “had made it easy” for companies to import talents as it would be “easier” and “cheaper” to do so.
“Furthermore there is no skills transfer from the ‘FTs’ resulting in the current talent crunch…now they will have more excuse to import more ‘FTs’,” he wrote. Another user commented that the Government prefers “fast mode importations of FTs” instead of grooming local talents.Noting that Singapore has been getting foreign talents for over “20 years” to train its locals, one user said the country facing talent crunch now could indicate that “something is very wrong” with the policy. One user opined that the Government should help the locals instead of justifying its move to import more foreign talents into the country. Another user said the Government’s move to outsource foreign talents in every tech-related jobs has resulted in the country facing talent crunch in the technology sector.
“This is the result. The over reliance of foreign IT expertise is really a security issue too,” he wrote. Some netizens pointed out the high number of unemployed graduates in Singapore, indicating that the Government should focus on local talents instead.