ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
11,400 training places open to tourism & F&B workers
SINGAPORE: The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) has more than tripled the training capacity for the tourism and food and beverage workforce.
More than 11,400 training places are now available, up from 3,700 in 2011.
Training will be offered at 10 Continuing Education and Training (CET) centres, which include five newly-appointed ones.
The five new centres are Box Hill Institute Singapore, Eduquest International Institute, iFi Academy, Project Dignity and SHATEC.
Janice Foo, director of the tourism division at WDA, said: "For the tourism and F&B industry, they remain very buoyant and very vibrant. And especially in the face of tightening foreign manpower policy, we are also looking at how do we then provide a pool, or pipeline of skilled workers into the industry.
“That is why we are looking at ramping up the training capacity to meet these needs. Of course we are attracting everyone, from the rank-and-file, up to the PME level, mid-career switchers and people who love the fun and the passion for service.”
The boost in training capacity was unveiled at WDA's first Learn It! Continuing Education and Training roadshow for the tourism and F&B industries.
Some 900 people showed up to find out more about career and training opportunities.
The roadshow gave visitors a taste of what they could learn at some of the training courses.
For example, a mobile ordering device allows restaurant staff to take an order, and with the touch of a button, send it directly to the kitchen without having to walk back and forth -- making restaurant operations more productive.
One of those who attended the roadshow, Gene Sze, said: "I was looking to see whether I can actually fit in, given my age. But I found out that you're never too old to do something that you like."
Aminuddin Lee said: "Coming here helps me to know more about what the industry has to offer to me for making the career switch."
The number of training places for professionals, managers, and executives (PME) in the two industries is also being ramped up.
There were about 350 training places for PMEs in 2011, and this is expected to grow to about 3,350 by 2015.
New courses for PMEs in areas like sports management, events, and meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) are also being introduced.
Kevin Cheong, chairman of Association of Singapore Attractions, said: "The industry hires roughly about 200,000 to 250,000 people and at the pace we're growing, we'll be looking at 10, 15 per cent growth rate in terms of positions.
“Look at the number of hotels rolling out in the next two, three years. Look also at the number of events filling up the convention halls in Singapore, it's not stopping.
“I'm in the attractions business, and the parks are getting bigger. So we do need people, the right people, at the same time we need the right passions as well.”
Industry experts say there are currently about 15,000 vacancies in the tourism industry.
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