The Straits Times
Published on Nov 10, 2012

Work passes for supporting jobs


THE latest changes in assessing the eligibility of top-tier foreign talent for the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) are timely ("Stricter criteria for personalised work pass"; Wednesday).

But why tie eligibility only to an applicant's annual income?

It would be useful if the Manpower Ministry gave clearer information about the assessment criteria used in granting Employment Passes and the PEPs.

According to the ministry, the PEP remains a premium pass for top-tier talent; in other words, it is targeted at attracting highly skilled foreigners to Singapore.

But what are the criteria used in determining that the skills they possess qualify them for the PEP?

Are foreigners who take up jobs in supporting administrative functions like human resources, accounting, finance and operations in Singapore regarded as being highly skilled?

Singapore has been a regional hub for many multinational companies for a long time, and many Singaporeans have years of experience as regional heads in these support staff functions.

The ministry should provide more details of the number of employment passes granted yearly, and the number

of renewals that were approved and rejected.

Of the total, what is the number of employment pass holders in jobs that deal with support staff functions?

This will help in ascertaining how many mid-tier foreign managers were granted employment passes, and in identifying the special expertise they have, if any, that Singaporeans do not.

Grace Chua (Ms)