10,000 workers in retail and F&B to benefit from training package
Food services, retail sectors firms can tap over $32m to upgrade employees' skills
Employers in the food services and retail sectors will be able to tap more than $32 million in SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) funding to upgrade their workers' skills.
The enhanced training support package is part of the $4 billion support package the Government announced in the Budget last month.
The SSG package, which aims to help companies defray business costs and upskill workers in the food services and retail sectors, will benefit more than 1,000 companies and 10,000 employees.
For three months starting on April 1, employers in these two sectors who send their workers for selected programmes will receive an enhanced absentee payroll support at 90 per cent of the workers' hourly basic salary, capped at $10 per hour, up from 80 per cent.
They will also get enhanced course fee support of up to 90 per cent, up from a baseline rate of 50 per cent.
Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry as well as Education Chee Hong Tat said the initiatives are similar to the measures the Government has implemented for the tourism and aviation sectors.
"We are extending them to the retail, and food and beverage sectors, which are also affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, in a more significant way," he told reporters during a visit to Fairmont Singapore and Swissotel The Stamford yesterday.
He said the Government is looking into additional measures to help companies support workers, even after the three-month initiative is over, under a second stimulus package which Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has said is being worked on.
"We know this pandemic is not going to be for three months. It's going to last longer than that, and that's why it's important to build on what we have done in the first package," said Mr Chee, adding that details will be announced at a later date.
He also said upskilling is important for companies and employees to remain relevant during the current coronavirus outbreak and even after it ends.
"We know this is a serious situation we are faced with at the moment, but it is also not something that will last forever.
"The pandemic will be over, and when the recovery comes, we want our companies and workers to be ready, so this is a time to also invest in capability development, productivity improvements and skills upgrading," he said.
SSG is working with its training partners to ramp up training capacity to help affected employees. Its training partners include hospitality school Shatec, Asian Culinary Institute, At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy, NTUC LearningHub and the Singapore Institute of Retail Studies.