Thursday, February 01, 2018

Smart Nation Cheap Labor Low Productivity.

I was talking to a friend about his situation and went to a job fair in Toa Payoh with him. He is in his 40's and had been laid off from work 4 times, each time taking longer to find a job. He is an engineering graduate from NTU and worked for several MNCs which have ceased production in Singapore and was retrenched. In between jobs, he drove a Taxi, taught tuition and even had various part time jobs to do stock taking.

He has not worked full time for almost 2 years and when we went to the job fair, it seems like all the jobs offered were blue collared jobs, like cooks, security guards and other hotel staff. It was quite disappointing, but speaking to some e2i people at the fair, they said that there are different fairs for different people, and this particular fair is for the unemployed uncles and aunties to join restaurants.

I talked to him about his situation and how his job application online is progressing. It seemed particularly bad as many new jobs seemed to be interested in younger people. When you are above 40 years old, jobs like "social media manager" which seemed to be quote common, never responded to him.

It seems like the job market is rather tough in Singapore. SMU, a university that boasts high paying jobs after graduation has uber driver graduates.

I still believe that there are a lot of cheap labor and displaced people in Singapore. There are a lot of talks about productivity, but I feel things are getting worse.

With all the PIC grants the government has dished out, how much productivity and use of tech is increased? When I see the ALL OF THE old automatic car wash at gas stations become "MANUAL" car wash with the use of plentiful Indian workers, it saddens me that we seemed to have gone backwards.

I've owned a construction company before and done some property development, and when I sub-con out some work to BIG construction companies, I seldom see mechanical tools. Most of the time to demolish a building, hordes of Chinese workers will wield sledge hammers and smash the walls. To remove tiles, they will just smash everything.

It is fascinating to see the use of diesel powered generators for events in town. Even at Marina Bay, Orchard Road, most outdoor events are still powered by diesel when solar systems with Lithium batteries are much more portable and "fumes free"

For logistics, delivery and transportation, most of the work is done with one staff -- the driver who is also the delivery guy, and without much trolley or other tools to help him move the goods. The loading and unloading bays are usually poorly designed, (because they did not spend $880k like the rubbish chute the government built) and the vans and trucks will jam up the area or the roads near by. Otherwise, they would also have to pay expensive parking to park far away and carry the heavy goods over a long distance.

For a Smart Nation, it seems that not all websites are 24 hours, and they are often shutdown for maintenance when you have time after work to use the sites. When I want to use the various smart payment methods, it seems to be unavailable or out of service (Or staff is untrained to use it)

With the current party still in power, it seems that their push to support more MNCs instead of growing local SMEs will continue and the situation will only worsen.

I guess I must send thoughts and prayers and hope that one day, Singaporeans will vote for their benefits and not for the few that rule over them.

-- Ironbowl


The Tanster said...

The word is "hordes" and not "hoards". Both are legitimate words but they mean totally different things. FYI.

Iron Bowl said...

thank you. edited.