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Tan Kin Lian: NS and Too Many Years of Study are Hurting Singaporeans’ Job Opprtunities

Former NTUC Income Chief and presidential hopeful Tan Kin Lian has slammed the state of employment for locals in Singapore, saying employers find it hard to hire locals because they have “zero working experience” by the time they hit their mid-twenties and enter the job market.

He put this down to too many years spent studying, and the further disruption caused by National Service obligations.

Mr Tan also said that too many people are wasting their money on courses, to gain knowledge which they would hardly apply in real life.

This is Tan Kin Lian’s full Facebook post:

redwire singapore tan kin lian jobs
“I met a poly student who is now taking the first year in university. He is studying information systems. He is now 23 years old (after serving two years in National Service) and will be 26 by the time that he graduates. He will have ZERO working experience.

A better option for poly students is to start work in the field that they are trained in, e.g. software development. During three years, they can pick up very useful knowledge and be very good in software development. After three years, they will probably earn more than the starting salary of a graduate.

If they really need a degree, they can obtain it on a part time basis and can take several years. There is no need to hurry.

I am quite worried for Singapore. Too many people are spending too much time and money in studying a course that they are not going to apply in working life. The additional three years (i.e. two years plus waiting time) lost to National Service adds to the delay.

This is one reason for the lack of manpower in Singapore. Employers find it difficult to get local workers, because most of them are in the army or in the university!”

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