It is common knowledge that in recent times, there has been increasing demand for tech talent in Singapore, as the country has begun investing heavily into future industries and digital transformation to prepare for a post-pandemic economy. As a result of this, as well as the ongoing tensions surrounding foreign professionals in Singapore, local tech talents are being aggressively headhunted and even poached by competing firms.
Even so, the country’s existing talent pool simply cannot fill all the positions available – there is not enough talent to go around and certain positions can only be filled by true titans of industry.
Decrease in the number of foreign professionals
Several reports in 2021 have outlined Singapore’s pandemic positioning towards foreign professionals, indicating that there will be a decrease in the number of overseas professionals in the country in the coming years. With this grim outlook, coupled with a growing need for tech talent, it is necessary to question the future of tech talent in Singapore.
The future of tech talent in Singapore
Mr Ravi Menon, the managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) acknowledged this severe need for tech professionals in Singapore, as vacancies for tech professionals across industries continue to grow. It was also made clear that even though the number of foreign professionals in Singapore decreased by 8.6% last year, since the introduction of the Tech.Pass in January, 90 passes have already been given out. The country will therefore continue to depend on foreign talent to fill up the excess tech positions in Singapore in the coming years.
Concerns over the future of tech
Nonetheless, this is simply a short term solution to a far greater issue. At the rate that technology is progressing, an individual’s skills can become outdated extremely quickly. Tech professionals need to invest in constant upskilling in order to not get left behind. Additionally, while relying on foreign talent is an effective short term solution, and while Singapore continues to maintain its open stance towards foreign talent, there is also an acknowledgement to how things are shifting in a post-pandemic world.
The main shift that would be concerning is that talent migration will likely no longer continue on the same scale as it was before the pandemic. Tech professionals that want to capitalise on talent migration into Singapore should do so now, and secure their long-term future in the country while there is still a pressing need. As the world progresses in the aftermath of the pandemic, open border policies and migration policies will be constantly reviewed as remote working is now a very viable cost-efficient option.
We can safely expect greater regulation and higher barriers of entries across the board, making the next couple of years a uniquely prime time for interested parties to make the big decisions regarding their future in Singapore.
About Immigration@SG LLP
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