Singapore is having a boom in technology jobs across all sectors but has a shortage of tech workers. According to Ravi Menon, the managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore the country will have to rely on foreigners to fill the employment gap.
The country has a 5.7 million population and is already an Asian base for many multinational companies and banks. Companies such as Facebook and Alphabet’s Google have offices there as do ByteDance and Zoom, both of which are hiring aggressively. More companies are looking to open offices as Singapore becomes a tech hub in Asia.
Menon said “Singapore needs to build a strong pipeline of local tech talent by involving financial institutions, individuals and the government. Currently though the competition for tech talent is economy wide as more sectors embark on digitalisation and the pipeline of local technology graduates is not enough to fill the vacancies”.
Singaporeans make up just over one-third of the estimated 25,000 tech workforce, the mismatch between the demand and supply of tech workers means that “we have to continue to depend on foreigners to fill the growing vacancies for technology jobs over the next few years,” Menon said.
“If we tighten this inflow excessively, it will impair not just the competitiveness of our financial centre but dampen the prospects for creating good jobs in the future, especially for Singaporeans,” he added.
Singapore’s total employment shrank in 2020, the most in more than two decades, which was due to the Covid 19 pandemic. This lead to the Singapore government imposing tighter immigration on foreign hiring to offset the falling numbers of Singaporean employment. However effective this year a new work visa for foreign employees was put in place for technology companies as the talent crunch became apparent.