A friend of mine works in an MNC. He commented recently that Singapore citizens are a rare breed at his workplace. In his extended team of about 30, there are Indians, British, Asian Americans and Malaysian Chinese, but only 2 Singaporeans. And one of the 2 is a contract worker!
This is not only limited to his extended team. Throughout the office, spanning several floors in the building, he said it’s hard to find more than a handful Singaporeans in middle to senior positions. However, in sales and lower-end operations, and especially in technical support, there are more citizens.
If people are interested to know whether MNCs are better paymasters than GLCs, it’s also logical for them to ask how many citizens are employed by MNCs in Singapore and in what positions. Unfortunately I can’t find any figures.
Quotas are only applicable to work permits and ‘S’ pass foreign workers. See difference between foreign workers and foreign talent and MOM webpage on foreign worker quotas.
On the other hand, foreigners earning more than $2,500 hold employment passes. They are classified as “professionals” (as opposed to “skilled workers”). These foreign professionals are not subject to any quota.
This MOM reply to a query in ST says it all (boldface mine):
“Apart from the S-Pass, companies can also bring in foreign professionals, managers and executives on employment passes to meet their staffing needs. There is no quota for Employment Pass holders. However the applicant must be paid a basic monthly salary of at least $2,500 and have acceptable qualifications.”
There is no quota. If you run a company and pay more than $2,500 to each employee, you can have 100% foreigners in your company.
” ‘Local workforce’ refers to those full-time employees (Singapore citizens or permanent residents).”
So, technically, any company in Singapore can hire zero Singapore citizen and have foreigners as all its employees.