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More employees from food services to benefit from new job redesign reskilling scheme to uplift jobs and transform businesses

SINGAPORE, 9 APR 2021 – To encourage more employers in food services to uplift the jobs of their frontline and operational workers in tandem with their digital transformation, Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Singapore Productivity Centre (SGPC), with support from Enterprise Singapore (ESG), have revamped the Job Redesign Reskilling (JRR) Programme for food services industry under the Career Conversion Programme. 400 existing frontline and operational workers are expected to be upskilled to take on enhanced jobs through the programme over the next two years.

2          Employers in the food services sector are transforming and adapting to the post-COVID business norms, adopting digital solutions such as self-ordering solutions, cashless payment systems and automation for food preparation to enhance customer engagement and increase productivity. With the introduction of such technologies, the nature of the workers’ jobs will change and be adapted. Some may even need to be deployed to take on other roles where demand is. These transformations are accelerated by the growing consumer demand for online sales and food delivery services.

3          At the same time, employers in food services face a perennial manpower crunch that is exacerbated by the pandemic and border closures. In order to attract and retain their local workforce, they need to transform and create quality jobs with improved wages and working conditions, which in turn helps reduce their reliance on foreign manpower. Hence, it is important for employers to redesign jobs and reskill their workers to support their business amid the changing operating environment. 

4          Since the roll-out of the first iteration of the programme in February 2020, more than 1,000 workers in food services from more than 30 companies have been upskilled to take on enhanced and less laborious job scopes, thereby keeping their jobs whilst supporting their companies amid the pandemic. The JR projects implemented include the merging of various existing roles to create new, value-added ones (e.g. combining roles of server, cashier and hostess into a Service Ambassador role) whose tasks are augmented by technology (e.g. e-ordering, e-payment, etc.) as well as cross-training of workers to perform both front-of-house and back-of-house duties. As a people-centric sector, food services workers in redesigned roles will now have more time to interact with customers and deliver enhanced customer service, and they in turn derive higher job satisfaction.

5          To encourage more employers to embark on this endeavour to improve and transform jobs, the revamped programme, renamed the JRR Programme for Food Services Assistants, will now focus job redesign (JR) efforts on frontline and operational workers to push employers to review, optimise and add value to these roles, such as service crew, cashier and kitchen assistants, as they undergo business transformation. Through this programme, existing frontline and operational workers will take on higher value jobs such as service ambassadors and kitchen technicians to support their employers’ accelerated efforts in digitalisation and automation.

6          An enhanced Job Redesign Guide is available to assist employers in their JR journey with step-by-step guided templates. This will also help streamline the application process when they come onboard the JRR programme – instead of developing their JR project(s) from the ground up, companies will be able to implement JR more quickly with these easy-to-use templates. Companies that require additional help with their job redesign projects can tap on the following programmes as well:

  • Services Industry Transformation Programme (SITP) to equip themselves with problem-solving tools and techniques to reduce reliance on manpower, innovate and improve productivity through service design and digitalisation;
  • Support for Job Redesign under Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG-JR) to work with pre-approved JR consultants on their JR projects.

7          JR is an important part of any company’s transformation journey. As companies review their existing operational processes, find areas of improvements, and implement digital or automation solutions, jobs would need to change too. The Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) from Enterprise Singapore helps companies to grow and transform with new capabilities. Companies may tap the EDG when they embark on projects tied to process optimisation or the adoption of digital or automation solutions.

8          Mr Tan Choon Shian, WSG’s Chief Executive said, “Singaporeans’ love for food does not change, but the same cannot be said of the environment in which our food services companies operate today. As they embrace digitalisation and adapt to the post-pandemic norm, we will continue to support them in this journey and help overcome their manpower challenges together – all whilst ensuring our Singaporean workers can look forward to more fulfilling and meaningful careers in the industry.”

9          Mr Michael Tan, SGPC’s Chief Executive Officer said, “The Job Redesign Guide is free for all food services companies and I urge companies to leverage the step-by-step process and templates in the guide to incorporate job redesign in their business transformation plans. SGPC is also committed to help companies to implement their respective transformation plans following the many successful case studies and the projects we have worked on.”

10        The JRR Programme for Food Services Assistants was announced during Minister for Manpower, Mrs Josephine Teo’s visit to Eurasia F&B Pte Ltd on 8 Apr 2021, where she met workers who benefited from the company’s business transformation and job redesign efforts.

About Workforce Singapore

Workforce Singapore promotes the development, competitiveness, inclusiveness, and employability of all levels of the workforce. Its key mission is to enable Singaporeans to meet their career aspirations, take on quality jobs at different stages of life, and help enterprises be competitive and manpower lean. Workforce Singapore’s focus is on strengthening the Singaporean core and ensuring that Singaporeans are able to have better jobs and careers. Workforce Singapore, in partnership with key stakeholders, also provides support to business owners and companies to enable them to transform and grow, while building a future-ready workforce. Visit www.wsg.gov.sg for more information.

About Singapore Productivity Centre

The Singapore Productivity Centre (SGPC) is a one-stop competency and resource centre supported by Enterprise Singapore (formerly SPRING Singapore) and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Productivity Association (SGPA). With a focus on the retail, food services and hotel sectors, SGPC’s vision is to be the go-to experts for enterprise excellence, playing leading roles to guide small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in creating a roadmap for growth. SGPC provides a comprehensive range of services and programmes including in-depth productivity consultancy, workshops, study missions, benchmarking for best practices and industry insights. Through its expertise and services, SGPC helps enterprises to be future-ready in and beyond Singapore by creating value through innovation, productivity improvement and capability building.

About Enterprise Singapore

Enterprise Singapore is the government agency championing enterprise development. We work with committed companies to build capabilities, innovate and internationalise. We also support the growth of Singapore as a hub for global trading and startups and build trust in Singapore’s products and services through quality and standards. Visit www.enterprisesg.gov.sg for more information.

Glossary and Translations

Josephine Teo

Minister for Manpower

杨莉明, 人力部部长

Tan Choon Shian

Chief Executive

Workforce Singapore

陈俊祥, 局长, 劳动力发展局 (简称劳发局)

Job Redesign Reskilling Programme for Food Services Assistants


Michael Tan

Chief Executive Officer

Singapore Productivity Centre

陈远涛, 执行长, 新加坡生产力中心


Media Factsheet on the Job Redesign Reskilling

Programme for Food Services Assistants

Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Singapore Productivity Centre (SGPC) introduced the Job Redesign Reskilling (JRR) Programme for Food Services Industry in Feb 2020 to help employers in food services train and upskill existing workers to take on redesigned and enhanced job roles as they undergo business transformation.

To better support frontline and operational workers as well as employers as they enter the next phase of recovery, and to meet the growing demand from consumers for online sales and food delivery services, the programme has been revamped into the JRR Programme for Food Services Assistants. The programme is now scoped to target support at reskilling existing workers in frontline and operational roles, such as service crew, cashier and kitchen assistant, to take on enhanced job scopes augmented by digital solutions and technologies.

Managed by SGPC, the programme aims to encourage and better enable employers to review, optimise and add value to their RnF jobs in order to create higher quality jobs and a heightened sense of job satisfaction amongst employees.

Through the programme, SGPC will work with participating companies to customise their training plans which can comprise a mix of classroom and on-the-job training (OJT) or 100% OJT, depending on the companies’ needs. Employees whose jobs are being redesigned and enhanced will undergo up to three months of training.

Application to participate in the programme has been streamlined to make it easier for employers to implement job redesign projects. They can use the step-by-step template to guide their development and roll out of their JR projects.

Funding Rates

Salary support for the duration of the training (capped at three months) will be provided to the employers at the following rates, subject to funding availability and approval:

Rate for those aged below 40

Rate for Singaporean Citizens

aged 40 and above

Up to 70% of salary capped at $2,000/month

Up to 90% of salary capped at $3,000/month

No Absentee Payroll (AP) claim is allowed for JRR trainees.

Eligibility Criteria

All participating companies must fulfil the following criteria:

1)     Registered or incorporated in Singapore;

2)     Committed to work with WSG or its appointed partner on the necessary administrative matters related to the programme;

3)     Have a clear plan on how job redesign will transform old roles into new ones;

4)     Able to offer redesigned job roles which (i) fulfils one or more job redesign outcomes, and (ii) pays monthly gross salaries of at least $1,700 after the programme; and

5)     Commit to reskilling and training arrangements.

Employees nominated for the programme must fulfil the following criteria:

1)     Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident;

2)     Minimally 21 years old;

3)     Current frontline or operational employee of the participating company;

4)     Has been employed by the company for more than a year at the point of application and not newly hired after 1 Sep 2020;

5)     Must not be a shareholder of the company or its related companies;

6)     Must not be immediate ex-staff of the participating company or its related entities;

7)     Must not be related to the owner(s) of the company; and

8)     Must not be undergoing any programmes funded by WSG concurrently e.g. career conversion programmes.

Contact Details

For more information and to apply for the programme, please contact SGPC at jrr@sgpc.sg.  Companies are encouraged to apply early with a complete set of application documents, as funding availability is on a first-come-first-served basis. Proposals will be assessed based on the merits of the project and extensiveness of the job(s) that are being redesigned, with technology as a key enabler.