Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Amy Khor announced yesterday (11 Jan) that the government will launch a new work-study programme in March to train polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) graduates to become hawkers (‘Poly, ITE grads can train to be hawkers under new programme‘).
The new Work-Study Post-Diploma (Certificate in Hawkerpreneurship) is a 12-month programme open to to all recent poly and ITE graduates.
Dr Khor said, “With the increasing recognition and appreciation of hawker fare, setting up a hawker stall can be considered as a gateway into the F&B sector, and there could be budding food and beverage entrepreneurs who may aspire to join the hawker trade.”
She said the National Environment Agency (NEA) and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) will work together with Temasek Polytechnic (TP) to launch the programme.
Students will undergo a two-month classroom-based training, followed by a four-month apprenticeship and a six-month mentorship with experienced hawkers. Both mentors and apprentices will receive a monthly training allowance of $500 and $1,000 respectively.
Dr Khor also said support has been given to hawkers to help them digitalise. She said, “To keep our hawker culture thriving, we cannot just do the same things (in) the same way. We need to adapt to change and do the same things in different ways, which is borne out by our experience with the Covid-19 pandemic.”
MOM adjusts processing of applications for S Pass to “alleviate manpower shortage” in S’pore
While the government is setting up programmes to encourage Singapore’s poly and ITE graduates to become hawkers, it announced last month (15 Dec) that it will “adjust its processing of new work permits and S Pass applications” of workers across all industry sectors to better support businesses in Singapore (‘MOM to adjust processing of applications for new work permit, S passes to alleviate manpower shortage in S’pore‘).
It was reported that the Manpower Ministry (MOM) was in consultation with the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Ministry of National Development (MND) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) regarding the loosening of entry restriction for new foreign workers.
MOM said that it now has more room to accommodate the entry of work pass holders to alleviate the manpower shortage, given the country’s “stable COVID-19 situation, strong public health measures and testing capacity”.
“Applicants and employers must adhere to current border measures, which include seeking entry approval from the authorities, undergoing pre-departure tests, and completing their stay-home notice in Singapore,” it added.
S Pass allows mid-level skilled foreigners to work in Singapore. Candidates need to earn at least $2,500 a month and have the relevant qualifications and work experience to get approval. S Pass holders typically take on jobs done by Singapore’s poly and ITE graduates originally trained for.
Foreign spouses and family members can work in S’pore too
Not only foreign work pass holders can work in Singapore, their spouses and family members can work here too.
For example, under the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) signed between Singapore and India, professionals and intra-corporate transferees from India can apply for dependant’s or long-term visit passes for their family members to come to Singapore, subject to prevailing criteria.
Not only they can live in Singapore, they can work here too. Under the section on “MOVEMENT OF NATURAL PERSONS” of CECA, the agreement states:
Meanwhile, Singapore’s poly and ITE graduates upon getting their Work-Study Post-Diploma (Certificate in Hawkerpreneurship), can start working as a hawker to make a living.