Do you know how many types of foreign workers we have in Singapore?

We often hear that foreign workers in Singapore compete with Singaporeans for high-paying professional, managerial and executive (or PME) positions.  The government is considering measures to ensure that Singaporeans are treated fairly...


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We often hear that foreign workers in Singapore compete with Singaporeans for high-paying professional, managerial and executive (or PME) positions.  The government is considering measures to ensure that Singaporeans are treated fairly when it comes to PME jobs and it will reduce the inflow of both S-Pass and EP holding foreigners. In the meantime, it is important to realise that the overwhelming majority of non-resident foreigners in Singapore are here to do jobs that Singaporeans do not want to do.

There are many different types of foreign workers in Singapore. According to population figures from June 2012, work permit holders make up the largest group of foreigners working in Singapore at 46%, followed by dependents of Singapore citizens/PRs/work pass holders (15%), and foreign domestic workers (13%). Employment Pass and S Pass holders make up the smallest groups at about 12% and 9% of the non-resident population respectively.  

While Employment Pass and S Pass holders are usually educated, meet a specific salary criterion, and hold PMET (professionals, managers, executives and technicians) positions, work permit holders usually refers to semi-skilled/unskilled foreign workers that come here to take up jobs that Singaporeans might not wish to do. This helps alleviate labour shortage problems in some industries. 

This essentially means that majority of non-resident foreign workers in Singaporeans are not here to compete with Singaporeans for high-paying professional or managerial jobs. Rather they are here to help build our homes, keep our roads clean, and make our lives just a little more comfortable.

 

 

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The following table has more information on the different employment passes and permits:

 

Pass, Permit or Programme

Type of Applicants

Examples of Eligibility Criteria

Employment Pass (EP)

 

P1 Employment Pass

Professionals, Managers, Executives or Specialists

·         Fixed monthly salary of at least $8,000

·         Possesses acceptable qualifications

P2 Employment Pass

Professionals, Managers, Executives or Specialists

·         Fixed monthly salary  of at least $4,500

·         Possesses acceptable qualifications

Q1 Employment Pass

Professionals, Managers, Executives or Specialists

·         Young graduates from good institutions could qualify if they earn at least $3,000

·         Older applicants would have to command higher salaries to qualify, commensurate with the work experience and quality they are expected to bring

S Pass

S Pass

Mid-level skilled workers (e.g. Technicians)

·         Fixed monthly salary of at least $2,000 (This will be raised to $2,200 and higher from July 2013.)    

·         Older applicants would have to command higher salaries to qualify, commensurate with the work experience and quality they are expected to bring

Work Permits

Work Permit

Semi-skilled or unskilled Foreign Workers

 -

Work Permit
(for Foreign Domestic Workers)

Foreign Domestic Workers or helpers

 -

Sources:

This article is accurate as of Mar 2013.


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