New training opportunities for SME, poly students in hospitality and tourism, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

New training opportunities for SME, poly students in hospitality and tourism

Efforts are under way to raise the skills of employees in the hospitality and tourism industry and boost service standards here.

Two initiatives announced on Jan 4 will provide more training opportunities for workers, as well as students hoping to join the industry.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the hotel and accommodation sector will be able to tap a new upskilling framework to get guidance in areas such as developing new or improved products, enhancing their customer services and improving productivity.

The framework has been developed by industry veteran Raffles Hotel Singapore, which was recently appointed as a SkillsFuture Queen Bee by government agency SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG).

This means it will take a leading role to upskill and reskill SMEs in its ecosystem and sector, and support them in identifying and acquiring the skills they need to transform their businesses.

The hotel hopes to work with at least 40 SMEs per year over a two-year period, it said in a joint media release with SSG on Jan 4.

Employees of participating SMEs will be able to attend bespoke training programmes conducted by Raffles Hotel on skills such as wine service, personalised customer service and floristry. The hotel will also mentor and develop skills-learning road maps.

It will work with learning partners, such as the polytechnics, Institute of Technical Education and the National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning led by Nanyang Polytechnic, to curate customised learning solutions for the SMEs. These will cover areas such as service and product innovation, digitalisation and workplace learning.

Mr Christian Westbeld, managing director of Raffles Hotel Singapore, said: “Singapore’s hotel and accommodation services sector must evolve to provide fresh experiences for guests to maintain its competitiveness.”

There are 33 Queen Bee companies in sectors including logistics, manufacturing and retail.

Raffles Hotel, which was ranked 17th in the inaugural The World’s 50 Best Hotels ranking in 2023, is the first to be appointed in hotel and accommodation.

Ibis Singapore Novena is one of the hotels that has come on board. Its operations manager Josephine Yen Lui hopes working with Raffles Hotel will be a game-changer in upskilling employees and transforming the business.

Ibis Singapore Novena hopes to implement digital innovation initiatives in a bid to transform its operations.

Separately on Jan 4, a new Talent Advancement Programme was launched to give students of Republic Polytechnic’s (RP) School of Hospitality a head start in their careers.

The pilot run, beginning in April, is expected to take in 100 second-year students keen to work in events, financial services or hospitality after graduation.

Participants will be attached to one of 16 companies in the programme and will be assigned a mentor. They can to take up paid work stints, ranging from part-time roles on weekends to full-time positions during semester breaks.

Final-year participants will complete a 40-week structured and paid internship, with rotations across two or three roles, and attend a leadership development workshop.

Graduates from the programme may receive offers of bond-free, full-time jobs at a higher position, along with a pay rise of up to 10 per cent from their internship companies, said RP.