Polish your English first for a job in SingaporeYouth unemployment is ever serious, and many young job seekers are looking for opportunities abroad. In the past few years, more and more Koreans are looking for jobs in Singapore. As Singapore is known for its MICE industry (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions), young Korean women are coming to Singapore to become hoteliers. Singapore is an attractive destination, as the government aggressively invites foreign workers and more than 7,000 multinational companies are located in the city-state.
However, the reality is not so sweet for those seeking successful employment opportunities. First of all, finding a job in Singapore is not easy for college graduates with no real job experience.
Unless they have licenses and experiences to prove their competencies, they have to be employed in low-skilled service positions. But Singapore is notorious for its high cost of living, and the low wages in the service industry are barely enough to live in Singapore, much less save for the future. Many aspiring hoteliers discover the discrepancy between expectation and reality, and return to Korea disappointed.
The opportunities for skilled and educated candidates are diminishing as well. While many Koreans in Singapore are employed by foreign companies as high-paid professionals, it is increasingly difficult to find such positions. In addition to the economic factors, the Singapore government is implementing a policy to lower its dependency on a foreign workforce that is rapidly growing in the past few years.
But not all doors are closed. Korean job seekers with English proficiency may still have a chance if they look for promising industries. Public corporation and private sector managers often have high regard for Korean engineers, but they are often not fluent in English and communication is an obstacle. While Koreans are diligent and competent, command of English often poses a challenge for employing them in better positions.
The Korean government is working hard to find a breakthrough abroad in order to resolve the chronic youth unemployment problem. With relatively more opportunities for foreigners, Singapore is a country the Korean government should pay attention to. But to help more Koreans find jobs abroad, the government needs to have precise understanding of situations in other countries, including employment conditions and prospects.
by Suh Chung-ha, Korean Ambassador to Singapore