TL;DR – It’s all about safeguarding employment amidst challenging times.
The tourism industry is an important pillar of the Singapore economy. Besides being a major contributor to Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP), it also generates significant employment opportunities.
However, the emergence of the coronavirus has crippled many industries, with the tourism and hospitality sector taking the most significant hit.
According to Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Singapore saw a decline in both visitor arrivals and tourism receipts in 2020. Visitor arrivals (VA) fell by 85.7% in 2020 to reach 2.7 million visitors (nearly all from the first two months of 2020), while tourism receipts (TR) declined by 78.4% to S$4.4 billion in the first three quarters of 2020.
Stringent travel restrictions and safe distancing requirements imposed on a global scale to battle this pandemic have also resulted in severe repercussions on the hospitality industry as events and tourism sharply declined.
Keeping workers gainfully employed
To cushion the impact of COVID-19 on the lives and livelihoods of those in the hospitality industry, NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) has rolled out a Hospitality Training Support Package, comprising a series of training support programmes to help multi-skill and redeploy hospitality workers.
This package consists of 1) Mentor Assistance Programme (MAP), 2) the Security Training for All Roles (STAR), as well as 3) Generic Essential Training (GET) programmes.
Created in February 2020 to counter the impact on jobs as a result of COVID-19, the MAP encourages hospitality-related companies to redesign jobs and multi-skill their employees with the help of experienced mentors so that they can be redeployed into other job roles amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
On top of the MAP, e2i has also been working with the Food, Drinks and Allied Workers Union (FDAWU) as well as the Attractions, Resorts & Entertainment Union (AREU) to roll out other two new programmes – Security Training for All Roles, and Generic Essential Training.
These programmes are aimed at equipping the existing workers with in-demand skill sets in the areas of security, safe distancing, and personal data protection processes.
In a Facebook post, NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng said that by multi-skilling and cross-training the hospitality workers, NTUC and the unions want to help companies meet current manpower demands, and keep workers gainfully employed amidst this challenging period.