Skip to main content

Speech at Hotel Day 2016

Minister Lim Swee Say, Suntec Convention Centre

Albert Teo, President, SHA
Margaret Heng, ED SHA
Tan Hock Soon, GS FDAWU
Gilbert Tan, CEO e2i
Ng Cher Pong, CE WDA
Tan Choon Shian, CE(Designate), WSG
Yap Chin Siang, ACE STB
Partners and Friends
  1. Jointly organised by the tripartite partners, this first Hotel Day is a good example of tripartite efforts to build a strong and skilled Singaporean Core for the hotel industry.
  2. As a top tourist destination, we attracted more than 15 million international arrivals in 2015.
  3. Today, the hotel industry provides employment for about 35,000 individuals.
  4. One key challenge faced by the industry is the shortage of manpower. With more hotels opening in the coming years, the manpower situation will only get tighter.
  5. In the face of keener competition and to overcome the shortage of manpower, the industry is transforming and reinventing itself to be more productive, innovative and manpower lean. 
  6. For example, check-in, check-out or room service used to be handled manually by front office executives.
  7. Now, with mobile technology, more hotels in Singapore are meeting new lifestyle preferences by introducing e-concierge for quick and easy check in and out.
  8. Staff can now take on higher-level job functions such as guest service ambassadors to provide more personalised and customised services to hotel guests.
  9. During the tour of lean solutions, we saw the deployment of a variety of lean solutions:
    In Guest Room – Robot Waiter and Linen Robot
    In Restaurant – Mobile Apps for customers to place ordering and make payments
    In Kitchen – Kitchen Facilitator for kitchen and service staff
    In Concoction Bar – Smart Bartender
  10. These lean solutions will help us to become more manpower lean, but not manpower-less.
  11. Human staff will still be needed to do more creative and higher value adding work. Hence I was relieved and happy to see cake crafting not by Robot, but by SHATEC trainees.
  12. Indeed, the quality of jobs and careers in the hotel industry has improved and will continue to improve.
  13. Our hotels in the future will not only offer new and better services to the hotel guests, but also new and better jobs and careers to the hotel staff.
  14. It will offer new positions in areas such as revenue management, digital marketing, data analytics and business process re-design.
  15. It will also offer more scope for all hotel staff to learn new skills, to be more multi-skilled with more opportunities to adapt and grow in their careers.
  16. Hence, even though our Singaporean Core in the hotel industry is healthy today, we want to attract even more locals into this industry.
  17. There are now more than 2,000 job vacancies in the hotel and accommodation services industry, with 40% of these jobs for PMETs.
  18. As we speed up the transformation of the hotel industry, the profile of jobs will change for the better. We will see more PMET jobs being created for our people.
  19. To support the transformation of the hotel industry and to help more Singaporeans to benefit from the future growth of this industry, we are launching a “double first” initiatives today:
    - Skills Framework for Hotels and Accommodation Services (HAS), and
    - Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Professional Executives.
  20. The Skills Framework for HAS is the first Sectoral Skills Framework to be launched among more than 20 sectors that have formulated or are formulating their industry transformation and manpower development plans.
  21. Jointly developed by the WDA and STB, in close partnership with industry leaders and associations, unions and training providers, the Skills Framework has been validated by the industry and stakeholders.
  22. It will provide a common reference for skills and competencies. 
  23. Employers will be able to recognise skills and invest in skills training for their employees.
  24. They can also develop vertical and horizontal career pathways for their employees to progress in their organisations and the industry.
  25. Individuals can then take ownership of their skills development, while training providers can design programmes that address the industry’s manpower and skills needs.
  26. For example, individuals who are interested in developing new careers in revenue management and digital marketing can now refer to the Skills Framework to have a better understanding of the career pathways, skills requirement and training programmes that will help them pursue these careers.  
  27. Employers who adopt progressive HR practices can likewise refer to the Skills Framework to multi-skill their employees for greater exposure and faster career advancement.
  28. One example is Mr Peh Kok Hwa from Grand Park City Hall. Kok Hwa first joined the hotel industry in 2014 under the Hotel Operations Specialist Team (H.O.S.T.) Programme. He was deployed to different departments during peak hours to take on job roles in housekeeping, Food & Beverage (F&B) and front office. Today, Kok Hwa is an Executive Trainee at the hotel supporting F&B Operations. Guided by the skills framework, Kok Hwa can meet his aspiration to become a Hotel Restaurant Manager in a better structured manner.
  29. Another first is the introduction of a new PCP today to help local PMETs to build horizontal careers in sales, project management and administrative roles across various vertical industries.
  30. The hotel industry will be the first sector to offer this new PCP for Professional Executives.
  31. For a start, it will focus on attracting and grooming Sales Executives or Assistant Sales Managers – two key roles for the industry.
  32. Why did we choose these job roles for this new PCP? From the Jobs Bank, we found that there is a healthy demand of over 2,000 job vacancies for these two job roles across sectors.
  33. With this new PCP in place, local and mid-career PMETs from any other sectors will have a smoother transition into the hotel industry.
  34. They will be provided with training and job opportunities for them to adapt and grow in their next careers. 
  35. We will provide training subsidies and up to 70% wage support during the period of training. After the training (about 3 months), they can qualify for the Career Support Scheme where we will provide wage support for salary ranges between $4,000 to $7,000.
  36. There will be a mix of institutional training at SHATEC, as well as structured On-the-Job-Training in the hotels.
  37. I am pleased that as a start, 18 hotels have already committed to join this new PCP. Some of them are here today at the career fair.
  38. I hope more employers will come on board.
  39. Together, we can strengthen our Singaporean Core in the hotel industry, a win-win outcome for both the employers and our jobseekers.
  40. Partners and friends, industry transformation can be disruptive, yet rewarding for those who are willing and able to adapt.
  41. As tripartite partners, we are doing our best to support the industry to create better growth.
  42. We are also doing our best to help our people to pursue better jobs and better careers.
  43. I thank you, key players in the industry, for actively reaching out to Singaporeans to make the hotel industry a meaningful career option for them to pursue.
  44. This will ensure that the hotel industry will have the pipeline of local manpower to meet your manpower needs, and build a stronger Singaporean Core as we continue to transform and grow the hotel industry of Singapore.
  45. Thank you and have a fruitful session ahead.