Salaried workers hunt jobs abroad

BETTER PROSPECTS::Almost 60% of workers polled in a survey said their salaries are too low, and they could earn and learn more by finding employment overseas

By Kan Chih-chi and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Wed, Jan 29, 2014 - Page 5

An unfriendly work environment across the nation has led to approximately 59.9 percent of polled salaried workers looking for jobs abroad, the latest poll from the yes123 job Web site showed.

If the figures were to be applied to the working population of Taiwan, which stands at 11 million people, approximately 5.6 million workers would seek employment overseas, the poll suggested.

Most of the polled salaried workers are highly educated or have been working for at least a decade and 21 percent of them said they expect a salary five times higher than what they earn now.

Workers would like to see an average increase of just under double their earnings, the poll found, which if applied to the actual salary rates between January and November last year, would see an increase from the average salary of NT$36,689 (US$1,213) to NT$70,000.

Of the polled workers, 64.6 percent said they favor China as an overseas job destination, with Japan the next preferred destination, followed by Hong Kong and Macau, Southeast Asia and the US.

Aside from advertising jobs in these locations, human resource companies have also started listing locations such as Dubai, where applicants can work at hotels or as salespeople in boutiques. As opposed to the NT$26,000 to NT$28,000 the same jobs would pay in Taiwan, the combined salaries and tipping fees could be as high as NT$35,000 to NT$45,000 in Dubai, yes123 said.

Singapore has also become more popular with applicants seeking their first jobs, the company said, giving as an example Hsu Ta-hua (許大花), who had worked as a dealer at a casino in Singapore, as encouragement to others seeking jobs overseas.

Hsu said that she earned a salary of more than NT$50,000 a month while working in Singapore. She added that while her expenses and rent were significantly higher than in Taiwan, she learned a lot because she came into contact with visitors from all over the world.

“It was useful training to develop my emotional quotient [EQ], and I also got to travel around and visit the countries around Singapore,” Hsu said.

Yes123 also pointed to a worker named Cathy, who worked in Switzerland and China, as another example of the benefits a job abroad can offer.

Although Cathy decided to return to Taiwan and do administrative work at an art gallery, she nonetheless said that after working overseas, she felt that the local labor environment needed a lot of improvement and training programs could be better.