Singapore to recruit foreign travelers to work

The government of Singapore is an ambitious one, hoping to increase the population to 6.5 million, up from the current 4.5 million. They welcome immigrants, especially professional educated individuals, as well as encouraging the nation’s citizenry to breed, baby, breed. They’ve also just revealed a forward-thinking option to encourage visiting foreigners to get jobs and stay in the country for six months.

From “Work-on-holiday plan to draw foreign talent” by Li Xueying in the 19 May 2007 edition of The Straits Times (electronic version locked behind a subscription wall):

Manpower Minister Ng Eng Hen yesterday announced the scheme, called the “Work Holiday Programme” (WHP), which will begin from Dec 1.

It is open to undergraduates and graduates between the ages of 17 and 30 from universities in eight economies — Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States.

The programme essentially allows any of these young people on holiday here to look for a job and stay on for six months.


“A positive experience of living and working in Singapore would encourage some of them to work here when they graduate, or at a later stage of their careers.”

Speaking at a ceremony for new doctors, Dr Ng said that in the global race for talent, there is a need to “poitively shape international opinion of Singapore and raise our profile.”

The WHP pass will not restrict its holder to any specific type of work or a minimum salary requirement.

This is in contrast to, say, the Employment Pass (EP) which requires a foreigner to have a fixed monthly salary of at least S$2,500 and an acceptable degree, professional qualification or specialist skills.

WHP holders must, however, be able to support themselves during their stay here and show proof of exit after six months.

Part of the Vagabonding ethic is being able to take off a large chunk of time for travel, and a good way to support yourself in-country is by working there. This could take the form of waiting tables, or construction work, or teaching English, but with a six-month window, the possibilities expand dramatically. (Plus, Singapore is an ideal jumping-off point for travel to Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, India, Australia, Indonesia, and the many other countries in the region.)

This is also a very progressive move, in that there’s no immediate pay-off. The government is banking on the fact that foreign visitors will be so wowed by Singapore’s allure during their time here that they’ll want to come back sometime later; I know I was, and did. It’s a very long-tail approach to foreign recruitment, and I’m interested to see in the years ahead how successful it will be.

More information about the Work Holiday Programme can be found at Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower website.

Posted by | Comments (36)  | May 25, 2007
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

36 Responses to “Singapore to recruit foreign travelers to work”

  1. Living in Singapore Says:

    One thing I appreciate about the government in Singapore (having moved here two years ago), is that they are very good at forward planning.

    I read somewhere that the 6.5 million population target is a 50-year target… and they’re already working out the land use and transportation logistics that need to be in place to support that! Amazing.

  2. Marsel Mitak Says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am looking for any jobs available at the moment,I would like to thank anyone who be the great help.

    Thanks & Kind regards,


  3. manu tiwari Says:

    Dear Sir, I am looking for a job in singapore from the past six monthsbut i didnt get any link or source. kindly help me .

  4. manpreet singh Says:


    I want to get work permit for Singapore. My need to know the exactly procedure for the same & about expenses too. Now I am working with a European MNC as engineer (mech. Designing/ autocad and solidworks). And what if I’ll get work permit of Singapore then can stay in Malaysia. And after how longer, I will get PR.

    I shall be very thankful to the person, who will be helping me.


    Manpreet Singh

  5. Dr.mritunjay kumar pandey Says:

    dear sir,
    i want a job in any hospital or any privat clinic which the respective field of job .
    u can send some of the required quaries in e mail.
    my self. pandey(mbbs(am)kolkata,specilist in phy-therapy)

  6. Funom Makama Says:

    I am a Nigerian medical student studying in Ukraine.And I want to come oer to singapore for a three month summer job. Would it be posible for me?

  7. Tomiwa Ajibade Says:

    Dear Sir, I am teacherlooking for a job in singapore for about 2 years now without headway.will really like to have singapore experience. I want a link please.

  8. cicero ribeiro Says:

    hi!im from brazil,i want working in singapore,my wife she are filipina already working there,i want to goin there and stay together of her,but dont have working not yet.thank you!


    I have been looking a job in Singapore. I have vast experience in insurance industry and CII, London Cert.qualified.

    Will you please help me find a job and tell me the legal procedure for obtaining a work-permit.

    Thank you.


  10. Femi Akinlabi Says:

    I am living in nigeria i want to visit my friend living in singapore,will someone help me out please

  11. Thavamani Says:

    I want a job of .net developer and i have 3+ years experience. thanks

  12. Udeni Dammika Gunasekara Says:

    I am an Civil engineer and 9 years working in Sri lankan goverment projects . Would you mind helping me to come to Singapore to do a civil engineering job.I like to work as a tranee engineer about 6 months.

  13. Siwa Says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am looking for the job in SG while I am still working now in Thailand as the Export Manager of the personal care manufacturer here. Before, I had worked for 8 years in the industrial business as the Sales & Marketing Manager.

    If you seek for the Sales & Marketing person, kindly contact me and so I can pass my CV shortly.

    Thank you in advance.

  14. priyadharshinirc Says:

    Dear sir/madam,
    I am a fresh engineering graduate from india, i too finished Microsoft .Net Framework certification course, which is very valuable in Singapore.I am looking for a IT job in Singapore for the past six months, but i am not able to get.Iam helpless, Please help me.
    thank you

  15. Pan Says:

    Dear all,
    I am Thai undergraduated but iwill graduated next years on May.
    while im studying i also working as a recruitment team.
    btw, i have a chance to travel in SG for a few days.
    i had a great time there and would love to work there.
    I can do everything(waitress, work in sentosa, jurong park)
    i can do anything if u just give me a chance
    Please help me out
    Thanks you,

  16. Julio Says:

    The WHP pass is ridiculous. I’ve met more than 10 agents, and all tell me that because I’m not a Singaporean/PR, “jobs will be difficult for me”. I’m just sitting at home without a job even after 2 weeks that I’m back in Singapore, despite me chucking resumes out. If I wanted to work for $5 an hour at a supermarket, then I would have stayed in Australia!

  17. visalakshi Says:

    Dear Sir,
    i m visalakshi from india. i m a web designer having
    experience for 1.6 years. i would like to know the companies that recruit
    the candidates by offering job and work permit.
    I am looking for a job in singapore from the past one year
    i m applying for jobs in online but didnt get any link or source.
    kindly help me. my id is

    looking forward to hear


  18. Muhammad anns Says:

    Dear sir,
    i am Muhammad anns i am from Pakistan, study in Malaysia, doing Bsc in business computing specialism in management. right know i am in level 2 but i am facing problem with my family on my financial i am also doing job in my college library as a secretary of library and as well as library assistant, but i am intresting to do job and study in Singapore because its well established and i want complete my family dreams. i find so many job but i never get any reply i am kindly asking your help that what should i do….. please sir help me i want to become a good gentlemen, kindly help me

  19. Salma Hammou Says:

    My husband and i are trying so hard to fins a job in Singapore, for like 6 monthes but we haven’t find any yet,
    my husband is British citizen and he is the Director of Revenue mngmt at the Four Seasons Hotel Doha and we areally wanna live in Singapore, so far it’s the right place to live , work and raise a family,

    Hope you can help

  20. vishal jain Says:

    I want to get work permit for Singapore.
    My need to know the exactly procedure for the same & about expenses too.
    i m going to be a graduate from india. delhi university…
    bcom…student and currently working in a mnc…bpo industry…

  21. Rangani Handagala Says:

    I am a MBBS graduate doctor from Sri Lanka. My husband is a surgeon and he got a fellowship offer from singapore general hospital.He will be going to singapore shortly on a social visit pass.I am also looking for a job so that I also cal live with him. Presently I am working as a medical officer in intensive care unit in a Sri Lankan hospital.I have 3 years experience. I have applied for jobs but no reply yet. Kindly help me.