Fears over foreign professionals: How best to put Singaporeans first?

Senior Political Correspondent

Amid the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, white-collar workers used to job security are facing growing uncertainty, reigniting once again the issue of foreigners competing for jobs. In Singapore, the issue was dissected in Parliament last week during the debate on the President’s Address. MPs told stories of residents who found themselves outnumbered at their workplaces by foreigners, and some who have lost their jobs to foreigners that they felt were no better qualified than themselves. Insight looks at four questions on the issue of foreign and Singaporean professionals in the workforce.

The debate in Parliament was spirited, with MPs standing up one after the other to speak about foreign professionals in the workforce. They urged the Government to ensure companies did not see the foreign manpower policy as a licence to hire foreigners over Singaporean professionals, managers, engineers and technicians (PMETs), and that companies should bring in foreigners only to plug a skills gap.

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