Singapore in 2007 – Supply Side
Obviously the Singapore and Asian economies generally are doing well. In the natural course of events this leads to increased demand for all labour. In Asia, demand is especially strong for English speaking (bilingual) professionals ideally with skills and experience that are relevant to the “international” economy.
This increased demand fueled by economic growth and investment has led to a certain tightness in the supply of professionals in specific areas in Singapore. To put this in context however this is basically a global and especially a pan Asian phenomenon.
In fact, relative to many other Asian locations, Singapore remains in good shape from a supply side point of view. Japan, China, Thailand and so forth are all if anything, experiencing more difficulties. Singapore’s relatively balanced situation is largely a result of:
- Flexibility in the labour market
- It’s high quality (tertiary) education system
- The concentration of MNCs and Banks in the country effectively creating a large pool of skilled people
- The prevalence of English (in particular, but also the generally multi-cultural nature of the country)
- What seems to be a determined effort by Government to tailor the tertiary education systems output to the needs of the economy
Having said all that, there are some specific sectors especially within the banking industry which are particularly tight, notably:
- Private Banking: Relationship Managers and others (due to very high growth levels in the industry)
- Investment Banking: Product Control and Operations (due to the success of Singapore in positioning itself as a global hub for certain functions and the growth in demand for skilled professionals this has created)
However, the overall picture is of a growing economy with a strong supply of quality professionals which is a major source of competitive advantage particularly relative to other Asian business centres.