Post 'shortage of skills' list on immigration site

There has been a lot of talk recently about the shortage of skilled labour in the service industry, with no solution in the offing ("What ails the service industry?" by Miss Christine Chan Simin; last Wednesday).

As a veteran in the industry, I would like to suggest a workable solution that would make the system of hiring more transparent.

In countries like Britain, Australia and Canada, companies have to publicise job openings a certain number of times in the local media. If they are still unable to fill the positions, they have the option of hiring from overseas.

Once a candidate is shortlisted, he has to go through the immigration process, and is hired for the job after having fulfilled the stated requirements.

Many countries publicise a "shortage of skills" list on their immigration websites.

Our Government should work with the service industry or, for that matter, any industry to regularly update such a list on the immigration website, so foreigners can fill these roles.

In this way, the perception that foreigners are taking away the jobs of citizens will be corrected, and a sense of fairness will prevail.

Letter by Virdi Bhupinder

This article was published on April 29 in The Straits Times.Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.