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Celebrating diversity at the workplace

To celebrate racial harmony at the workplace, Singapore's MOM* is encouraging companies to organize, in July, a special diversity day in their singapore offices.

One way they suggest is inviting employees to come dressed in their own ethnic costume.

Singapore has made of diversity & racial harmony in the workplace a trademark and a source of strength. "A harmonious workplace, where co-workers understand and respect each other, is vital to ensuring smooth business operations" can one read on MOM'website. "Celebrating Racial Harmony in July is one way organisations can help promote values such as mutual understanding, respect and inclusiveness at the workplace. Activities can be organised to help employees better understand the cultures, beliefs and practices of others".

* MOM: Ministry of Manpower

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Living & working in Singapore

Singapore, city of the lion, is plebiscited by expatriates who feel easily at home while living in the heart of Asia. Living conditions are very comfortable, with a mix of western influences and of vivid traditions

 

 

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Indonesia to switch to a single time zone

Indonesia is currently extending over 3 time zones. The Indonesian Government plans to switch to a single time zone on Oct 28 2012, allowing the whole country to have the same hour, aligned with Singapore, Malaysia and China.
"The move will help accelerate economic development across the country", Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said in a statement on May 30Th.

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A network for women entrepreneurs in Singapore

New in Singapore: ellesnetwork, a french speaking network for women creating their own business
The launch meeting will be held tuesday May 29th, 7:00 PM at Fort Canning Centre, White studio
"Come find how to create how to create your company in Singapore et become a networking expert".
 
Registration on ellesnetwork' website
 

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Dualexpat becomes Equipaje

In the last 3 years, we have been working on developping the Dualexpat platform, dedicated to expatriation in Asia, providing online resources, services and collaboration tools. We have been enriching contents and have elaborated customized support services to expatriates and spouses, which gave us the pleasure to accompany a number of our members in this beautiful adventure of expatriation.  On the other hand, the collaborative part of the platform didn't reach up to our expectations.

Based on this assessment, we have decided to merge the activities of Dualexpat (accompaniment of mobility) with those of Equipaje (HR development & coaching), on a unique platform, which henceforth gives an open access to all news, country files, guides and news on professional mobility in Asia, and relies on linkedin and viadeo for the collaborative aspects.

Equipaje,RH Nomades specialises in developping people and organizations in Asia

Our services:

Why Equipaje? Becacuse this term, mixed with spanish, symbolises altogether the journey, the team and the project.

Why RH Nomades (Nomadic HR)? Because the ambition is to enliven Human Resources in today's environment,highly characterized by nomadism, be it for mobility per se, for the cross cultural composition of teams, or for the increasing use of collaboration tools 2:0. Our wish is to support companies in being part of  HR transformations.

 

Visit the equipaje.fr website and flip on:

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Singapore cares for it's SME's

Since 2010, Singapore has developped, through it's Productivity & Innovation Credit scheme (PIC), a powerful incentive plans to SME's that are investing in human capital, innovation and productivity enhancement. This program has been reinforced within the framework of the 2012 budget. The PIC henceforth enables companies to deduct from their Chargeable Income 4 times the amount of their investments or to opt for a cash payout.

Enhancing productivity represents a major aspect of Singapore's economic policy, which sees it as an essential tool to leverage it's growth. The PIC (Productivity & Innovation Credit) is one of the key programs that have been set in place for that matter. It offers tax and financial incentives to companies that are investing in one or several of the following areas: : investment in automation equipement; investment in staff (Employee training); acquisition of intellectual property rights; registration of patents, trademarks, designs and plant varieties; Research & Development activities and investment in approved design projects. 

Concretely, companies can, in each field, deduct each year from their Chargeable Income ( between 2010 and 2015) 400% of their expenses, with a cap at 400.000 SGD, or opt for a cash payout equivalent to  30% of the expenses in 2010 and 2011, and to 60% of the expenses starting in 2012, with an expenses cap of 100.000 SGD.

What's striking is the openness and simplicity of the scheme. Incentives are based on investments that are not exceptional but take place in the companies normal development process.  Companies engage the expenses with no required pre-agreement.  They declare their expenses in their tax form or claim for a cash payout the next quarter following the investment. The staje is to facilitate the decision to invest, to accelerate and ampliy the process. 

In the field of training, the PIC represents an important stimulus. It enables companies to launch ambitious training programs, from hard skills training to the development of management skills and leadership, for a fraction of the initial cost: a training invoiced 10.000 SGD in 2012 will cost only 4000 SGD to a company opting for a 60% cash payout.

For more details, see the official websites of :

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The economic outlook is getting greyish in Singapore

Marina Bay Sands

The Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) published yesterday it's growth previsions for the country in 2012. With an estimate between 1% and 3%, Growth is showing an impressive slow down compared to previous years: 14,5% last year (2010), and a prevision of 5% this year

The figure that was released is the worst since the 2008-2009 crisis (-0,8% in 2009). It could yet be revised if the global economic context continued to degrade, with the debt in the Euro zone, or in case of a global financial crisis.

Such a weak growth perspective should have a negative impact on the job market and lead to pressure to lower salaries. A situation that leads to no enthusiasm on the front of international mobility and concerning the opportunities for job seekers and potential new entrepreneurs.

To be downloaded of the MTI website:

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Mentoring & expatriation

International mobility implies change, separation, discovery and adaptation. In this process, it is important to exchange: share one's enthusiasms, comfront ideas, questions and doubts. Some may do so with their colleagues & friends. Some may benefit from the support of a coach, a trainer or an expert. A third way is to find support from a peer-mentor who is ready to share his experience, provide support and guidance. 

Within the framework  of international mobility, mentoring is a solution that is suitable to a variety of situations. Within the company, a mentor may act as a facilitator, not only regarding the adaptation to the new job and new environment, but also concerning the relations with the Head quarters and career management. Out of the company, mentoring can facilitate mobility and the discovery of a new life in the host country. It can be a way to support an individual in his job search or on his business start up project. It can also be suitable for a manager on his discovery journey of new cultural codes and management parctices in his company. 

The mentoring project

We are launching an initiative in order to promote mentoring among members of Dualexpat. If you want to participate to this initiative, be it as a mentor or as a mentee, please simply join our mentoring group or send us an e-mail

According to your needs and suggestions, we are likely to launch several mentoring programs on specific themes. 

Partnership with EPWN

The first of these programs is organized together with EPWN - European Professional Women Network, a professional network of women managaers and entrepreneurs in Europe. It is part of an effort by EPWN to extend to Asia the range of opportunities for it's members  (EPWN goes Asia). It merely consists in connecting women entrepreneurs or future entrepreneurs in France with like minded entrepreneurs in Asia, in order to share experience and provide mutual support on developping projects in Asia. This program is open to Dualexpat members.

To go further:

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An insight on generation Y&Z and ways to engage

Blisfull Productivity

A game developer and a scientist, Jane McGonigal presents in a video her latest research findings on a project that may appear overambitious: "trying to make it as easy to save the world in real life, as it is to save the world in online games".

Yet, her exuberant presentation provides exceptional insights to a better understanding of the so called new generations Y&Z: what are their needs, their skills, how they interact and become engaged?

► Watch the video on Ted Talks website

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NTUC wants more for Singaporeans

NTUC building

The NTUC, by the voice of Labour Chief Lim Swee, is reported to be advocating an economic policy that would still be enough foreigners friendly not to compromise the country's global competiveness but would provide Singaporean with privilege.

As Singapore growth paces down and the singaporean society gets more mature, there is a visible tension amongst Singaporeans who want more visible signs of what's for them in the development of their country. While the general economic model, based on facilitating Foreign capital investment, is not questioned, the increasing number of foreign workers is seen as having a double side impact on Singaporeans daily life. On one hand, they consider they are increasingly competing with foreign workers on the job market. On the other hand, they feel the pressure of speculation, linked to the rapid growth of the population, feeding inflation and Real Estate prices.

In such a context, NTUC* proposes capping the number of foreigners employed for white collar jobs and finding ways to achieve "better employment" for the Singaporeans. Interesting ideas are being promoted such as differenciating policies according to workers category - " for instance, low-wage workers would prefer higher pay, while professionals, managers, executives and technicians lament the slow pace of their career advancement"-, or linking the availability of foreign workers to the employment of mature workers (a firm could have more access to foreigners only if it hires more mature workers).

Whatever the official answer that will be given to the demand, the current job environment is becoming more demanding for foreigners. It is no longer easy for an expatriate spouse with a dependant pass, to create his/her own company and secure his/her self employment through a letter of consent; it is also becoming not so obvious for a foreigner with a job offer to get a work pass nor is it for a long time resident to get the "resident pass".

* NTUC- National Trade Union Council. Source: Mypaper Thursday June 2, 2011

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