New Initiative to Make it Easier to Hire Foreign Professionals even as Numbers Soar


The Economic Development Board and Enterprise Singapore announced plans yesterday (30 Jul) to make it easier for technology firms here to hire more foreign professionals – foreigners who hold an Employment Pass (EP).

The pilot programme, Tech@SG, will start in the 4th quarter of 2019 and last for 2 years.

This comes even as the number of EP-holder soared by over 90 percent between 2007 to 2017 – from 99,200 EP-holders to 187,700 EP-holders in a span of 10 years.

Under the new programme, technology firms will have EP applications of their core team members facilitated to help them set up teams here.

Both the EDB and Enterprise Singapore did not go into detail on how EP applications for foreign professionals will be different for technology companies, only saying that “manpower flexibilities” will be provided.

Said an EDB spokesman:

“This includes considering alternative factors in the application if needed, such as the stock options remuneration of the core team members, or if they have deep skills in place of formal academic qualifications.”

Despite Singapore touting itself as a Smart Nation, research by recruiter Robert Half last year found that 90 per cent of Singaporean IT leaders were concerned Singapore does not have the IT talent readily available to build a Smart Nation-ready workforce.



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