Certis Cisco recruiting officers from Taiwan

Certis Cisco trainees practising their footdrill. The private security firm is looking to hire Taiwanese nationals to be auxiliary police officers.
Certis Cisco trainees practising their footdrill. The private security firm is looking to hire Taiwanese nationals to be auxiliary police officers. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE PHOTO

For the first time, private security firm Certis Cisco is looking to hire Taiwanese nationals to be auxiliary police officers (APOs), making them the first group of potential hires who are not Singaporean or Malaysian.

Recruitment will start next month, and Certis Cisco hopes to hire 120 university graduates, aged 20 to 40, on two-year contracts.

The company did not say why it was recruiting specifically from Taiwan, but a Certis Cisco spokesman told The Straits Times that the unprecedented move would beef up its resources and ease the labour crunch.

She said: "The manpower shortage is a perennial situation in Singapore, and we have been working with the authorities to recruit from suitable alternative sources."

APOs are trained in areas such as handling arms and counter- terrorism. They can also be deployed to various sites such as immigration checkpoints to manage traffic and crowds, and conduct security checks on people, belongings and vehicles.

The specific areas where the new officers would be deployed will depend on the needs of various sites and the suitability and competencies of the recruits, the spokesman said.

She said that Certis Cisco would have to seek permission from the authorities before deploying the recruited APOs, and declined to comment further about specific roles or areas of deployment.

An advertisement for the role, which first appeared on a Taiwanese job portal last Friday, said the officers' responsibilities would include patrolling, armed security services and surveillance at checkpoints, and immigration checks.

Successful candidates will get a monthly salary of NT$60,000 (S$2,700) and an additional bonus when they have completed their contracts. They are also eligible for overtime pay.

The salary offered is higher than the average Taiwanese graduate's starting pay of about NT$27,000, according to a survey released by Taiwan's Ministry of Labour last year. Accommodation will also be provided for Taiwanese APOs.

Before deployment, the new officers will go through nine weeks of training, in which they will learn about basic Singapore law and anti-terrorism efforts, and undergo fitness tests.

Candidates are also required to be able to read, write and converse in English.

Certis Cisco currently employs more than 3,500 APOs, all of whom are Singaporean or Malaysian.

Earlier this year, Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam said that more than half of the around 7,000 APOs - who include those from Aetos and Certis Cisco - are Singaporean.

He was addressing concerns raised by Workers' Party MP Sylvia Lim in Parliament over what was perceived to be a large number of APO positions filled by Malaysians. Mr Shanmugam said that only Singaporeans, Singapore permanent residents who are Malaysian citizens or Malaysians are eligible to be APOs.

He added that only Singaporean APOs are deployed at Singapore's land checkpoints. This is a deliberate move by the Government, despite manpower challenges, as it is conscious of the implications of hiring and deploying Malaysian APOs, he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2016, with the headline 'Certis Cisco recruiting officers from Taiwan'. Print Edition | Subscribe