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Photo credit: Aetos

Auxiliary police forces recruiting foreign talent

Should private security firms turn to foreign nationals to fill their dwindling ranks?

Anisah Azmi
Anisah Azmi

Published: 30 December 2016, 7:43 PM

The hiring of foreign talent by Singapore companies has always been a point of contention when local unemployment numbers are increasing.

It is thus no surprise that when auxiliary police forces (AFPs) such as Certis Cisco and Aetos announced that they will be attempting to recruit employees from Taiwan, locals were not too happy.

What’s going on?

Since 2011, AFPs managed to only increase the number of Singaporean officers by 250, a fraction of their planned 600.

The shortage of Singaporean and Malaysian applicants has led to private security firms such as Certis Cisco and Aetos to look to Taiwan for new hires.

The AFPs have already advertised the job opportunity on various Taiwanese recruitment portals.
An advertisement for the job of Auxiliary Police Officer listed on a Taiwanese recruitment portal. Photo Credit: Screenshot from 104.com

The advertisements cited several duties potential employees can expect, such as surveilling and performing checks at immigration checkpoints, providing armed security to maintain peace and order, and to protect and escort suspects and criminals, amongst other responsibilities.

Certis Cisco hopes to hire 120 Taiwanese university graduates on two-year contracts with recruitment starting next month.

However, many Singaporeans expressed their concerns regarding recruiting foreign talent, especially in sectors involving the safety of the country.
Netizens expressed their disappointment upon hearing Certis Cisco’s employment decision. Photo Credit: Screenshot from Straits Times’ Facebook

24-year-old Tan Wei Xiang feels that such jobs should be done by locals.

The undergraduate said: “Even though they are a private security firm, auxiliary police forces seem to be just as important as regular police officers. We can’t just trust foreigners to take on these jobs, especially when they don’t have a sense of responsibility towards our country.”

Other netizens feel that jobs should be given to Singaporeans, especially in an economic downturn when many are losing their jobs.
Graduates are finding it difficult to obtain jobs. Photo Credit: Screenshot from Straits Times’ Facebook

26-year-old university graduate Noraishah Hamid felt that more could be done to attract local applicants. She said: “If Certis Cisco made the job more appealing to graduates and suit the needs of a Singaporean, I’m sure people would flock and sign up. It’s lazy of them to simply turn to foreigners when locals are in need.”

While many Singaporeans are not too pleased with the prospect of foreign auxiliary officers, some understand the need to hire outside of Singapore.
Auxiliary Police Officers do not lead an easy life. Photo Credit: Screenshot from Straits Times’ Facebook

Zakir Ahmad, 19, whose father works for Aetos, feels that a career as an auxiliary police officer may not appeal to many Singaporeans.

The 19-year-old polytechnic student said: “Auxiliary police work long hours, night and day with very little off days. I think it’s reasonable for them to want foreigners that would want to come here just to work, especially when Singaporeans value their social lives too much to ever consider a job like this.”

What’s your take?

1. Would you consider a job as an auxiliary police officer? Why?
2. Do you think such jobs should be exclusive to Singaporeans? Why?

3. What can security firms do to encourage more Singaporeans to apply for such jobs?
Teaser photo credit: Certis Cisco

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