Quite a bit has been debated recently on MOM’s nudge to put Singaporeans as the employers’ first choice rather than the foreigners. Many online, especially the opposition, argue that no enough is being done by the government for its citizens. Breakfast Network has a good article on it here. SgPolitics also has an article here.
The heart of the issue is an age-old conflict between the landlords and the workers. While the landlords want to increase profitability by employing cheaper workers, the workers obviously want better paying jobs. While the government seeks to placate the local workers by giving them “fair advantage”, the government also has to enable the landlords, or employers to earn profit. For, at the end of the day, without profitable businesses, the economy will not grow and jobs will be gone, no matter if they are offered to locals or not.
I seek to propose that both the landlords and the workers must see their businesses as a system. For the workers, they need to see that for the businesses to hire them over the foreign workers, they must offer other capabilities or add-ons otherwise unavailable to the foreign workers. You want an advantage over foreign workers, let your capabilities be that advantage, not legislation. As for the employers, please see that locals do offer that extra benefit once they are properly motivated.
Here’s a problem caused by our prosperity. We take job opportunities for granted and lose the drive to excel. Please recognize that “Fairness” comes at a cost that our next generation may have to pay later. One does not have to look far to see the effects in certain countries in Europe.