Second round of preliminary Big Quiz talks kicks off at Meridian Junior College

The impact of foreigners on future jobs underscored questions raised by junior college students to Straits Times speakers, news editor Ignatius Low and assistant money editor Aaron Low on Friday.

About 750 Meridian Junior College (MJC) students attended the second of four talks leading up to the National Current Affairs Quiz, gaining an overview of jobs and the local economy, as well as perspective on Singapore's position in a global setting.

In the question-and-answer session that followed, about 15 students engaged the panel with questions about raising wages of menial jobs, as well as whether Singapore could accommodate a larger population.

Many were concerned about Singapore's reliance on foreign workers, along with issues surrounding the recently presented population White Paper. But they also went beyond perennial current affairs hot-button topics, raising concerns about the employability of special-needs workers, and what was being done to deal with an ageing population.

Amid these questions, Chinese national Zhang Zehan, 17, remained unruffled. "If we are friendly enough, we will be better integrated into Singaporean society," the JC1 student said shyly. "I feel quite welcome here."