Singapore has long relied on the mutual invested interest between foreign workers and the city-state to drive growth the nation’s economy. They lay pipes, prepare concrete mixes, weld steel and operate construction machinery that builds the foundation of the country’s infrastructure – and this arrangement is unlikely to change in the near future.

Construction recruitment agencies in Singapore continue to function as the main supply of manpower, who rely on their well-established networks to find, filter and legally process workers for work. (For job seekers looking for a job in Singapore, find out how you can “How to Find the Best Recruitment Agency in Singapore for Foreigners”).

Singapore Remains an Attractive Work Destination for Foreign Workers.

Construction Recruitment in Singapore - Multiway Employment

Construction recruitment agencies help provide an affordable supply of manpower. Picture via Cities of Migration.

On average, foreign construction workers from Bangladesh in Singapore earn about 300% more than their counterparts back home (average in Bangladesh = S$0.52/day; India = S$3.13/day; Singapore = S$3.98/day). The widespread of English as the lingua franca of government, education and business also makes working in Singapore highly attractive for workers hailing from these countries, as most of them are able to speak it as a second language.

Foreign construction workers usually live in company dormitories which not only lends cost savings for the workers and the companies who hire them (in the absence of dormitories companies would have to pay workers a higher salary to make the jobs more attractive), but also provides workers adequate living conditions and security. Living conditions may even be better than what they might get back home while on the job.

However, PRCs are starting to find the salaries less attractive as their own country develops and wages in their homes country bridge the gap.

Foreign workers remain important even after government raises foreign worker levy.

Although the government raised the foreign worker levy for 2015 and 2016, cost savings still greatly justify hiring foreigners in the construction industry. With the foreign levy charges factored in, each worker costs approximately S$1500. In addition, employers are not subject to a minimum wage as the MOM states that salaries should be based on market conditions and the state of the economy.

For more information on foreign worker eligibility, restrictions and requirements set by the Ministry of Manpower for the construction sector, visit the MOM website and details regarding the legal rights of employers and work permit holders in Singapore.

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Related articles:
1) There’s Still Job Vacancy In Singapore for Malaysian (2018)
2) How to find a job in Singapore as a foreigner and grow a rewarding career.


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