Food manufacturing industry is hungry for innovation
After working in a traditional pau manfacturing company for more than 20 years, Madam Mabel Lim has learnt to adapt.
She used to call Lim Kee Food Manufacturing's customers individually to get their delivery orders.
Now in charge of its supermarket sector and online merchandising platform, Madam Lim logs on to each supermarket's individual portal to download their orders and process them.
She views and retrieves payment through these portals, minimising miscommunication.
Madam Lim, 36, told The New Paper yesterday: "My company allows me to move across different departments and thus I can learn new things. My bosses are also very open to new ideas."
Building on new ideas is normal for Lim Kee Food Manufacturing. For example, to cater to new markets and consumer demand, it has innovated a new vegan product range that includes a plant-based meat pau.
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo, in her weekly jobs situation report yesterday, wrote about the food manufacturing sector.
She said the Government has been working closely with companies to promote food innovation, internationalisation of products and adoption of automation.
The industry has attracted new blood, like Mr David Yeo, who went from being an interior designer to securing an attachment at a gelato, pastry and chocolate company.
Mr Yeo, 49, said he left his sales job in October last year as he was looking for a more stable one to support his family. He has two children who are in secondary school.
He learnt about Workforce Singapore's Attach-and-Train Programme for Food Production Specialist and joined the Singapore Polytechnic programme in April this year. He is now attached to Gelato Specialists.
Despite enjoying cooking and having experience with kitchen design, Mr Yeo was entering largely unfamiliar terrain.
He said: "I was fearful that I will be slow to learn about a new machine and new ingredients."
Through his on-the-job training, Mr Yeo was able to familiarise himself with process control, interaction of food ingredients and the use of different machinery to produce gelato, pastry and chocolate.
He is now also a certified food handler and has knowledge relating to food science and technology like the implementation of lean food manufacturing.
On his career switch, Mr Yeo said: "You must be humble. Things will pick up once you get the hang of it and you must have an open mind towards learning."