TL;DR – Gaining overseas working experience is valuable as long as they return. Otherwise, Singapore will risk losing the global war for talent.
ADP Research Institute’s People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View reveals that 51 per cent of workers aged between 18 to 24 and 43 per cent aged between 24 to 34 are considering relocation for job opportunities.
Contrasting this data, only 3 in 10 older workers with established careers and families would consider relocating to another country for work.
Most Gen Zs who began their careers in the middle of the pandemic experienced a wave of disruptions like reduced opportunities and uncertainty about their future. These are reasons that provoked the thought of relocation in hopes for greener pastures.
Perks of overseas working experience
Working abroad will help Singaporean workers gain a global perspective, forcing them to navigate the workplace in another language or culture, which could improve their communication skills.
Having international work experience reflects traits like adaptability, motivation, and determination – three skills that are greatly valued by employers and recruiters. This puts you at an immediate advantage over candidates who have not worked abroad.
Overseas opportunities are also easily accessible nowadays. New Zealand has a Singapore Work Exchange Programme Visa that New Zealand Immigration says helps young Singaporeans who are either studying at a university or polytechnic or have graduated from one in the last three years, to go to New Zealand for work experience.
In this year’s National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also mentioned that the UK recently introduced a special visa for graduates from the top 50 universities in the world outside the UK. And with no surprise, it includes NUS and NTU.
Retain local talent
Having our talent work abroad for the short term is beneficial for Singapore’s economy. The fear is losing them permanently.
As it is, Singapore is currently facing a labour crunch. Rather than risk losing these talents completely, companies must consider how to best engage and retain their young employees, or they will face defeat in the global war for talent.
Listening to Youths
In recognition that the career aspirations and concerns of Gen Zs are different from past generations, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) launched the Youth Taskforce in May this year.
This initiative aims to learn their concerns, fears and aspirations and the findings will formulate insights and recommendations to address their work-life needs.
NTUC targets to engage with 10,000 youths aged between 18 to 25 years old through, but not limited to, focus group discussions, co-organised youth events, online and offline surveys.
For more details on how you can participate as a youth, you can visit www.youthtaskforce.sg to find out more.