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Singapore launches skills framework for food services and retail sectors

The Skills Framework for Food Services and the Skills Framework for Retail has been launched to support the manpower strategies laid out in the respective Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs).

The Skills Frameworks were jointly developed by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), Workforce Singapore (WSG) and SPRING Singapore in consultation with employers, industry associations, unions and education and training institutes.

The Skills Framework for Food Services has identified seven tracks, covering 52 job roles. These tracks are beverage service, food and beverage service, pastry and baking, culinary arts, central kitchen production, quality assurance and research and development.

The framework also lists existing and emerging skills required by each job role, which include innovating with new culinary ingredients in food and beverage production, operating automated cooking equipment for cooking food products, and using primary functions and applications of a tablet.

Skills Framework - Retail

In the press release, Poon Hong Yuen, chief executive, SPRING Singapore said: “Industry transformation, aided by the use of technology, can only happen with a strong workforce – one that is equipped with the relevant skillsets to take on new roles and adapt to evolving market needs. The Skills Frameworks serve as a reference for food services and retail businesses to enhance the skills of their employees and create better quality jobs.”

Additionally, Ng Cher Pong, chief executive of SSG commented: “The two Skills Frameworks that are launched today support the implementation of the ITMs for the food services and retail industries.”

“Trends such as increased automation in the food services industry and the growth of e-commerce in the retail industry provide new business and career opportunities. To seize these opportunities, the workforce will need to be equipped with new skills. The Skills Framework outlines how an individual can stay relevant and benefit from these opportunities in each industry,” he added.

ALSO READ: Mercer tasked by SkillsFuture Singapore to develop HR skills framework

Additionally WSG, in collaboration with SSG (and with support from SPRING Singapore, unions and associations) has sought to encourage more employers from both sectors to relook at, adapt and transform their operations and work processes by embracing innovation and adopting technologies.  

According to the release, routine work processes are streamlined to produce higher output whilst being less reliant on manpower. It has also enabled employers to mitigate the effects of the ageing workforce by making work easier, safer and smarter for their older workers.

The shift to more technology-enabled operations and redesigned job roles would require the upskilling and reskilling of employees. The creation of such higher value-added job roles puts employers in better positions to meet changing career aspirations amongst local workforce and to attract the talent they need.

To support and help offset part of the implementation costs of these technologies, employers can tap on WSG’s WorkPro Job Redesign Grant, under the firm’s Transform & Grow initiative, to fund job redesign projects up to $300,000.

On training and wage subsidy support, employers from both sectors can tap on WSG’s suite of Adapt & Grow programmes, such as the Professional Conversion Programmes, the Career Support Programme and Work Trial to enhance and complement their hiring and training efforts.

On this note, Tan Choon Shian, chief executive of WSG said: “To manage manpower and productivity challenges in the changing labour market, we urge employers to tap on WSG’s Transform and Grow initiative to implement lean transformation projects to enhance their business competitiveness.”

“WSG will also continue to work with forward-looking employers to enhance their manpower recruitment needs, and to connect them with jobseekers interested in pursuing a career in these progressive industries,” he added.

ALSO READ70% of staff placed through Adapt and Grow in SG retained for 6 months

WSG had also organised a two-day Adapt & Grow Food Services and Retail Day (4 and 5 August) at the Lifelong Learning Institute to further encourage employers to adopt technologies, drive recruitment and promote the wide range of job opportunities.

The event comprised of three components:

  • Technology showcase featuring technology solutions for both sectors
  • Seminar on “SMEs of the Future: Food Services and Retail”
  • Career fair
Speaking at the event, Josephine Teo, second minister for manpower commented: “To support the transformations; SSG, SPRING and WSG, have worked with industry stakeholders such as employers, unions and associations, ITE, polytechnics and universities to jointly develop the Skills Framework for Food Services and the Skills Framework for Retail."

The technology showcases featured various technology solutions, such as the e-Waiter, Table Top Auto-Cooker and Virtual Reality Technology.

In her speech, minister Teo also remarked: “There are many reasons why the use of technology in the workplace is useful. Firstly, it frees up manpower through more self-service or automation. One key development has been the pervasive use of technology for self-service and to carry out routine tasks.”

“For example, many restaurants these days use e-menu tablets. More retailers are also using RFID for stock-taking. RFID has been around for a long time, but the cost of deploying this technology has dropped in recent years, making it possible for mass deployment. Since 2010, more than 3,000 retail and F&B enterprises have invested in capability development like digital services and automation,” she said.

The two-day career fair featured close to 1,200 job vacancies offered by 34 employers from both sectors. Available positions include management trainee, assistant chef, store manager and visual merchandiser.

Lead Photo / SkillsFuture

Table / SkillsFuture

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