The truth about the employment market in Singapore

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If you're fearful about losing your job in London, you may be optimistic about finding a new job in Singapore. But you may be wrong in this. Finding a job in Singapore is not easy.

As a British blogger on our Singapore website has clarified, turning up in Singapore in the hope of unearthing a financial services job may simply lead to a future as a taxi driver. He's been there a month and has had no interviews, despite having relevant experience in the UK.

Nor does this appear unusual. Numerous people have left comments on the article in question saying similar things have happened to them.

For example:

"I'm not trying to make you panic - I came from London last year, I have managed to get just one interview in one year."

Part of the problem seems to be localization. As the Financial Times notes today, Singaporeans have woken up to the notion that their country is awash with foreigners who might be taking their jobs. The country has already tightened immigration rules for mid-ranking workers. Anecdotally, expat bankers seeking re-employment are also being affected.

"The SG job market is going through localization," complains one commentator on our article. "To work in the financial industry, first you need to have permanent residency status."

"You'll be underpaid because Singaporeans are cheap," cautions another.

It may not be as bad as this if you're applying for a skilled role in the front office, but even then you're advised to wait before doing so: like the City, the Singaporean front office job market is now dormant until 2012.

"1st quarter is a much better time to look for a job," advises one Singaporean commentator. "Maybe go back to the UK and pick up a short term contract and try again [next year]?"

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