63 percent of Taiwanese inclined to work overseas next year: report

A press event to release an annual Taiwan salary benchmark report.

A press event to release an annual Taiwan salary benchmark report. (CNA photo)

Sixty-three percent of Taiwanese said they are inclined to work overseas in 2020 as the country continues to face a serious brain drain due to its comparatively lower salary levels, recruitment specialists said in Taipei Wednesday.

During a press event to release an annual Taiwan salary benchmark report, Mark Tibbatts, managing director of global recruitment specialist, Michael Page Taiwan, said the local job market is expected to experience "fierce competition for talent" in the areas of digital, engineering, technology and data, next year.

"As the market experiences a net brain drain to mainland China, Taiwan will continue to see a candidate-driven hiring landscape," he said.

Citing the company's annual survey results, Tibbatts said 63 percent of respondents are looking to work overseas next year. The results reflect the fact that wages in Taiwan have long been comparatively lower than in other Asian countries, he noted.

Despite the relatively bleak outlook for Taiwan in retaining talent, Tibbatts also identified several encouraging market indicators for the country next year.

"Technology in particular continues to look promising and we anticipate market buoyancy for software development, online gaming start-ups, app development and other developer-driven sectors," he said.

More major global players in technology have also affirmed their investment in Taiwan, with Google announcing plans to double its office space in 2020, while Amazon and Microsoft have confirmed plans to expand research & development centers, he added.

Claire Wu (吳紹瑀), a director at Michael Page Taiwan, told the same press event that there are more positive signs from Taiwan's traditionally strong sectors, such as engineering, while semiconductors, renewable energy as well as health care and life sciences looking particularly promising next year.

As Taiwan remains a relatively high-skill and low-cost business location, more encouraging levels of activity in manufacturing and increasing demand for financial services managers are to be expected in 2020, Wu added.

The comments were made during the Taipei press event, with Michael Page and the European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan (ECCT) jointly releasing the latest salary report.

The Michael Page Taiwan Salary Benchmark 2020 was compiled using employment figures from the Michael Page group's database over the past 12 months, as well as job advertisements and placements from July 2018 to June 2019.