Added by Pat Williams on September 6, 2012
The Singapore government has recently announced its plans to train 5,000 more part-timers to meet the F&B and retail sectors’ demand for industry-ready employees over the next two years. The new program comes on the back the success of a similar pilot program which attracted 90 companies and trained 2,500 part-timers between September 2011 and June this year.
As part of the new initiative, SPRING Singapore, the national agency that promotes the republic’s economic growth and productivity, will work with the Workforce Development Agency (WDA), which currently offers a total of 17 Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) courses for the F&B and retail industries.
The agencies will work in tandem with the Singapore Retailers Association (SRA) and the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS), which has reported a manpower decline of 10% – 13% as a result of stricter manpower measures recently imposed such as the higher dependency ratio ceilings (DRCs) and foreign workers levy.
Altogether, the parties will develop a structured program and training curriculum specifically to ease the manpower challenges currently faced by both industries. In turn, the program aims to develop a sustainable pool of part-timers for industries while they draft their roadmaps for a longer term. SPRING Singapore will also cover up to 70% of the curriculum development costs and defray 90% of the training fees.
“The move is timely and symbolic as it eases the pain points borne by service industry players due to new realities of doing business in Singapore. It is also in line with the government’s aims to move away from basic skilled work and towards higher skilled and higher productivity activities. Hence, investing in the part-time staff dovetails the needs of employers with national aims,” said Mr. James Nuben, Head of Tax Division, Asiabiz Services, a Singapore company incorporation consultancy.
“However, our view is that retailers and F&B industry players should view the program as a short term measure and not a silver bullet. Perhaps to turn around the high turnovers in both industries, enterprises could focus on strengthening the brand mindshare and loyalty from employees. On another level, the current situation opens up new opportunities for entrepreneurs opting for Singapore company formation to elevate the retail and dining experience here both for consumers and enterprises,” affirmed Mr. Nuben.
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