New career schemes for hotel workers, including guide to help them chart progression

Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say (seated) being served by Soh Shang Neng, 25, a graduating Shatec student, at Hotel Day 2016.
Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say (seated) being served by Soh Shang Neng, 25, a graduating Shatec student, at Hotel Day 2016.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say speaking to staff from participating hotels in the career fair at Hotel Day 2016 on Sept 23, 2016.
Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say speaking to staff from participating hotels in the career fair at Hotel Day 2016 on Sept 23, 2016.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

SINGAPORE - The hotel sector has two new schemes to boost careers in the labour-strapped industry, including a new skills framework to help workers get the training they need.

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say launched the two schemes on Friday (Sept 23) at a hotel career fair.

He said: "Our hotels in the future will not only offer new and better services to hotel guests, but also new and better jobs and careers to hotel staff."

His announcements come in the wake of sombre labour market figures released on Sept 15, which show rising layoffs especially in the services sector.

The hotel sector employs 35,000 people. It has about 2,100 vacancies available, of which 40 per cent are for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs).

The Skills Framework for Hotel and Accommodation Services is the first to be launched under the nationwide SkillsFuture initiative.

It is a structured guide to help workers chart their career progression and identify specific skills they need to get the jobs they want.

For example, an assistant digital marketing executive who wanted to become a manager would know that he needed to pick up skills, such as carrying out a social media campaign, to get there.

The framework for the hotel sector is the first of about 30 such frameworks that will be rolled out for different sectors over the next few years.

Another new scheme is the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for professional executives, which aims to help mid-career professionals switch between industries in roles such as sales executives and assistant sales managers.

While previous PCPs have been specific to certain sectors, this is the first PCP to prepare professional executives to move between multiple industries.

It will be rolled out for the hotel industry in October, with 18 hotels including Amara and Shangri-La participating.

Participating workers will get on-the-job training, while the hotels will receive training subsidies and up to 70 per cent wage support.

Both initiatives are administered by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA).

At the fair, Mr Lim also viewed exhibits of technology that can reduce manpower needs in hotels, such as linen folding robots and a cocktail machine that produces Long Island Tea with the push of a button.

He said: "These lean solutions will help us to become more manpower-lean, but not manpower-less. Human staff will still be needed to do more creative and higher value-adding work.

"Industry transformation can be disruptive, yet rewarding for those who are willing and able to adapt."