The technology and financial sectors are already growing at an exponential rate with the rise of ecommerce, big data, and streaming services. In recent years, they continue to grow with the development of blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), metaverse, and artificial intelligence (AI). Global demand for talent is over the roof and Singapore is one of the countries trying to attract the best talents into the country.
Increase in Demand for Expats in Tech & Financial Sectors
As Singapore forges ahead with securing economic recovery for the country, there have been many questions over the future of the foreign population in the country. Stricter laws have been passed in recent months to keep a tighter control over the eligibility of foreigners to continue living and working in Singapore.
Naturally, many will come to wonder whether there remains a future for themselves and their families in Singapore as it moves ahead. Will Singapore adopt more protectionist policies in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic? Or will it remain open for foreigners?
On May 4, Ravi Menon, the Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) stated that a surge in the number of technology jobs across all sectors in Singapore points towards the country’s continued reliance on foreigners to fill the open positions.
Singapore as a Regional Tech Hub
Singapore is currently in a crucial position where it is not yet a tech hub, but due to more tech firms, global companies and otherwise moving into the country, it is very quickly emerging as one. The local Singaporean workforce at present time is not yet able to take on the jobs as there are not enough skilled personnel in the technology sector.
As of now, Singaporeans only account for one-third of the technology personnel working in the country. For Singapore to truly establish itself as a tech hub, it needs the expertise and the skills of accomplished tech personnel, and considering the boom in the number of jobs to be filled in this sector, the country desperately needs to look outward for the appropriate talent pool to contribute.
Singapore’s Financial Sector
Singapore’s financial sector is also quickly expanding. This year (2021), 6,500 new jobs are expected to be created in the financial sector. 91% of these new jobs are permanent ones. While this is good news, as it points towards the economy’s growing dynamism after the slowdown in 2020, it is also indicative of one very key gap in supply and demand.
In the 6,500 new jobs available, 35% are tech jobs, and the local workforce is not yet skilled enough to take on these roles. It has therefore become clear that it is pivotal for Singapore to look abroad for the relevant talent pool to take on these roles, upskill local talent, and further the country’s economic goals by driving the sector.
Forced to restrategize the talent structure within his firm, the Chief Product Officer for a boutique tech start-up based in Singapore mentioned,
“The tech scene is facing a crunch due to the demand for tech talents. With the small pool of qualified local talent, the good ones are easily snapped up by the bigger SMEs. Due to this shortage, the cost of hiring a good developer has increased significantly.“
What Does This Mean for Singapore Immigration?
With the number of jobs available in technology across various sectors, key professionals in this industry are becoming extremely desired. These candidates would be seriously considered to remain in Singapore long-term as PRs, and even new citizens. Nonetheless, we do have to bear in mind that meeting this criteria does not definitively guarantee one of an approval outcome.
Whilst candidates that meet the mark in this industry will experience favour when their profiles are undergoing review, there are other policies and goals that the country has to consider before giving an approval outcome, to ensure all the other socioeconomic metrics are not being upset.
In order to truly know where you stand, you would need not just an immigration expert, but also an expert on Singapore policy and trends that affect a candidate’s profile when they apply for their Permanent Residence or Citizenship status in Singapore.
Ultimately, Singapore maintains its commitment to remaining open to foreign professionals. It is extremely invested into establishing itself regionally and globally as a tech hub, and it is reliant on qualified and accomplished tech professionals to aid it in its mission to get there.