When you step off a plane at Changi Airport, renowned as the most efficient major airport in the world to get through, it is immediately clear that there is a wealth of opportunities for both business and pleasure in this great cultural hub. The charm and bustle of Singapore in the business world brings major players and key industries together.
To this end, there are a huge variety of job opportunities available to expats in Singapore, especially for the skilled professional. Alongside this, moving to the Lion City could provide you with a lucrative remuneration and a quality of life far better than almost every other major city in the world.
The first thing you need to do is research your chosen sector. Singapore has seen rapid growth for a long time and the business horizon is regularly changing. Some sectors, such as engineering, HR, banking, and digital communications, continue to show strong growth. Employers within these sectors, and others, will be keen to utilise your skills and will pay top (Singapore) dollar for your loyalty.
With an education system like that of the UK, and with comparable qualifications, your CV will be easy for employers to understand. With English being the primary language in the Singaporean business world, expats from the UK naturally have an advantage over international counterparts when it comes to communication skills.
Singapore is a hot destination for expats globally, due to its strong economic activity, global hub status and geographic location (as the doorway to Asia). Singapore has many fast-growing sectors such as information technology, healthcare technology, finance, retail and education. There are many websites offering expat job opportunities in Singapore and the applications vary from online forms to simply sending your CV. It is worth knowing that the process of landing a job could take as little as three or four months from when you first make an application.
Jobstreet is a popular website for jobs in Singapore that has a wide selection of industries which post jobs. It also has the ability to build a professional identity online, and search by salary range, location and company.
JobsDB is a job seekers website owned by SEEK, with the ability to search jobs in a variety of locations in Asia such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. The website allows you to create a profile with your skills and interests, and lets you know of relevant positions as they are posted to the website. There is also a wealth of recruitment and career development materials available which can help you in landing the perfect job.
My Careers Future is a Singaporean Government owned website designed to promote industries and jobs which are in demand in Singapore. You can search by title or keyword, minimum salary and employment type (such as contractor, full time, part time, temporary and permanent). You can also search for jobs which include government support.
Once you’ve secured a job you need to apply for a work permit. There are different permits that depend on your level of skill and the salary you’ll be paid. Due to the high number of global expats in Singapore the process of issuing work permits is well practiced and very efficient.
When moving to Singapore it is useful to know that although salaries are among the highest in the world, and the multi-bracket income tax is lower than in the UK, the cost of owning or renting a property and the cost of living is high.
A recent report stated that employees in general received a pay rise of 3% to 5% over the past year; 12.5% for professionals. Mid-level professionals as well as candidates with four to five years of experience and expertise in the IT, engineering and finance sectors are extremely popular. These industries continue to prove popular in Singapore, and growth within them is significant.
Here is our expat’s guide to working in Singapore, outlining the basics.