New course teaches aspirants how to manage a hawker stall

The course is meant to aid the hawker sector, which is suffering from an ageing workforce and a shortage of new blood.
The course is meant to aid the hawker sector, which is suffering from an ageing workforce and a shortage of new blood. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Twenty-five aspiring hawkers went back to school on Tuesday (July 25), where they were taught how to manage a hawker business, including how to source for suppliers and formulate a business plan.

They were at the first of three Introduction to Managing a Hawker Business lessons, organised by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

The course is part of the Government's push to provide appropriate practice-oriented training programmes for aspiring hawkers, to make it easier for those who wish to enter the trade, said Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor.

Dr Khor launched the course at ITE College West on Tuesday.

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In March, the Government accepted the Hawker Centre 3.0 Committee's recommendations in its report, including providing structured training in cooking hawker fare and running a business to sustain the trade.

The committee had been tasked with breathing life into a sector suffering from an ageing workforce and a shortage of new blood.

NEA said the hawker business management course aims to give participants the ability to perform basic profit-and-loss analysis, identify external stakeholders such as competitors, suppliers and customers, apply the principles of marketing and write a simple business plan.

The next two lessons will be held on Wednesday and Thursday.

There will be four more runs of the course, which costs about $180, between August and September.

"Such courses could also pique the interest of those who might be looking for a change in their career, said Dr Khor.

"We aim to make the training accessible, affordable and reasonably short, so that more aspiring hawkers, including working individuals, would be able to attend."

This is the second course organised specially for aspiring hawkers by the NEA. In May, the agency organised the Hawker Fare Series, where aspiring hawkers were given tips on how to cook hawker dishes and learnt about the trade from experienced hawkers.

Dr Goh Mong Song, principal of ITE College West, said: "Through this partnership with NEA, we aim to bring about the emergence of budding hawkers and arm them with the necessary business and entrepreneurial skills so that they can be successful in running their hawker business."