The Singapore government has announced plans to introduce changes to the Singapore Employment Pass (EP) to allow more foreigners to work in Singapore.
The Singapore government’s minimum qualifying salary for EP is to be set at S$3600, meaning that foreigners will need a good university degree, professional qualifications or specialist skills to qualify.
The Online Citizen states that this salary is only S$100 higher than the median salary of Singaporean graduates, meaning that the number of foreigners who may qualify is likely to be significant.
What is the Singapore Employment Pass?
The EP programme is a two-year programme which is designed to attract foreign tech talent to Singapore. The government hopes for the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Enterprise Singapore to help to facilitate easier entry for PMETs (professionals, managers, executives and technicians) to become “core team members” of technology companies operating in Singapore.
One key difference between the Singapore Employment Pass and other work permits for Singapore is that it is not one which is exclusively for graduates. The programme values also those who have the skills which can help to drive Singapore’s tech industry forward.
Employment Pass could stretch beyond the tech industry
Initially, the programme will be geared towards tech industry professionals. However, on 1 August, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sung told Bloomberg that the programme may be opened to other industries beyond technology-driven ones. Which industries these will be, however, Chan did not divulge.
Chan states that the people for whom the programme is for are, “not competing with the average Singaporean, these are the people who are competing for Singapore”.
The programme has been designed ultimately to attract the best talent globally to join graduates of the best secondary education system (according to Pisa, 2016) in the world.
Singapore also boasts two of the world’s greatest universities – Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and National University of Singapore (NUS) – which are jointly ranked in the top sport in Asia in Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings and jointly ranked eleventh in the world.
Photo: Hu Chen
Kate Frazer is a reporter for Global Education Times with a focus on UK/Ireland and North American education news. When she is not writing for GET News, Kate spends her time as an English and Maths tutor, and is currently pursuing her PGCE in Secondary Mathematics.
You can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org