Wednesday, 22 April 2015

[Today] Job experience counts more than formal qualifications

I read with keen interest the report, “Govt initiatives can help ensure opportunities for S’poreans: Chuan-Jin” (April 20).
While it is heartening to see that the Government plans to take the lead in helping Singaporeans in terms of expanding their opportunities, there is still a long way to go.
Many employers, including government agencies, still put a lot of emphasis on good grades and university degrees. Little or no value is placed on an applicant’s experience, and emphasis is also placed on his age and gender. Also, fields such as race and religion can still be found on employment forms, when such attributes matter little in jobs.
A person should be evaluated on his ability to do the job. Job application forms should remove the above criteria, and candidates should be evaluated on their skills and experience, not their ability to memorise and reproduce facts in examinations.
Experience is more valuable than formal education. Formal education shows only that one has gone through a structured learning process. It does not necessarily mean that a person can apply what he has learnt. Experience is more than that; it is about how one has applied what he has been taught or what he has experienced in different situations.
The Government has pledged to boost the career paths of non-graduates. Until it shows the private sector that experience counts and the ability to apply one’s knowledge is more important, people without formal education will always be on the losing end.