At a dialogue session with Young NTUC, Singapore Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong was recently reported advising Young NTUC (Singapore’s only so-call union) members that in a downturn, one has to be flexible when job-hunting. He urged the people to “take up any job that is available”.
Technically there’s nothing wrong with this advice, but everything must be taken into context. Mr. Gan’s remarks came after a question from a participant in the audience. The question the participant asked was whether as a fresh graduate, he really has to accept a blue-collar job?
Mr Gan’s suggestion was basically yes, as there would always be “opportunities to upgrade later on”.
Personally I feel this is very bad advice. I mean why would anyone go to a university if they have to take a blue-collar job upon graduation. What image are you projecting to young people if you say that all a degree is good for is a blue-collar job? Why would anyone study for years to get a degree if it’s not a path to a better life?
A fresh graduate who read what Mr. Gan said must be cursing his luck and wondering what the hell he was doing for the past few years. According to Mr. Gan, he may just have been wasting his time.