At the recent PAP convention, PM Lee Hsien Loong said that the government has “made progress on things that people care about that concern Singaporeans – housing, healthcare, transport, immigration”.
This is not the first time where he has reiterated the point that the future for our youth in Singapore is more promising than other developed nations.
In the latest 2016 Global Youth Development Index seems to provide a contrasting viewpoint. Singapore is ranked 43rd out of 183 countries which places it behind Malaysia’s 34th place.
Within sub-categories, Singapore ranks badly in terms of Employment & Opportunity at 29th place and political Participation 181st place. Even our education system which he had praised some days ago came in at 28th place.
For a category such as Employment and Opportunity, factors which are looked at include the NEET (not in employment, education or training) rate, youth unemployment ratio which seem to collectively suggest muted opportunities.
While the survey did not specifically point out reasons behind it, one factor which would strongly suggest limited opportunities would be the uncontrolled influx of immigration.
This is clearly not surprising, given the large number of S-pass holders. Given their relatively higher levels of skills and experience, it has in turn affect the employability of local youths who are not degree holders.
The most recent Polytechinc Graduate Employment Survey showed that 1 in 12 students have not found work within 6 month of graduation. At the same time, Leong Sze Hian estimated that as much as 30% of graduates from private universities are unemployed with 30% earning below $2000.
More than we are willing to admit, the youth of Singapore are the ones who are losing.