Forum: Dismayed by degree requirement in tender documents

I am dismayed by how some recent government and even commercial tender documents have specified that all engineers and project managers nominated in the project have to be degree holders with three to five years of relevant experience. This was stated in a project's tender document, as well as in a subsequent tender corrigendum after I had nominated a non-degree holder.

I find such clauses discriminatory towards non-degree holders. While I understand the need to have an experienced professional, why the need for a degree holder?

Degree holders are not necessarily more competent or have better management skills.

Besides, this runs contrary to the Government's call to place less emphasis on paper qualifications and to not let them be the overriding consideration in assessing the skill set and knowledge of workers.

My company, which offers construction-related services, has approximately 90 employees. Many of them are in their 40s and 50s and have worked with the company or in the industry for many years.

Throughout the years, they have upgraded themselves by attending many industry specialist courses. They have the relevant experience and capability to manage projects worth millions in value.

I strongly urge the Ministry of Manpower and other government agencies to look into such discriminatory clauses in tender exercises. Otherwise, we run the risk of good, mature non-degree holders being made redundant.

Wang Heng Thean

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