We are truly honoured to be an inductee into the World Gourmet Series Awards Of Excellence Hall of Fame 2014. It validates our vision to advance culinary and F&B profession with integrity and meaning. It also gives us the mandate to continue doing what we have been doing best. We teach Asian and Western cuisines, applying old world and new world techniques. We offer diplomas and certificates in 5 tracks of F&B education in culinary, pastry, liquids, F&B management and culinary nutrition. We will continue to search for passionate and committed talents and to offer relevant education and training.
We estimate that there are more than 50% of F&B workers with no formal qualifications, a lot with many years of industry experience and some at managerial level. Appointed by Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) as a National Assessment Centre (NAC), we will increase more Assessment Only Pathways qualifications in 2014. We see an urgent and important need to qualify more of these F&B workers because the industry has manpower shortage and a great need to increase productivity. Our message to the industry is that "if you don’t qualify your good workers, they will not get a chance to step up. If you want your business to grow, the best way is through your workers. With 90% training subsidy from WDA and the absentee payroll, the cost to your company is almost nothing."
We are also stepping up on more F&B service and management training. We believe if F&B service and management attract the right talents who are given quality education, they will start to pursue a career with their companies. We are always opening up more dialogues with the best-fit companies. With some key companies whom we have strong and few years of apprenticeship and graduate placements, we are stepping up to 7 levels of partnerships, we want to achieve deeper strategic relationships to support their manpower development.
Very important. For 10 years, At-Sunrice's synchronised study and work padegogy for our students contribute annually more than one million man hours to support the F&B industry in Singapore. Our 1-week Study and 2-week Work rotation allows our diploma students two job experiences, 6 months in an Asian kitchen and 6 months in a Western restaurant at five-star hotels and stand alone restaurants and cafes.
Because we select our students carefully through talent profiling, as a result, our graduates have the reputation of higher retention in the industry. We are also aggressively working with key industry partners and WDA to find best-fit workers and students to take up service and F&B management programmes. F&B job is very demanding, no point hiring staff who do not have the service aptitude and who are not excited about working in food service.
We provide our students with opportunities to further their culinary and F&B education by creating a seamless progression towards a degree pathway. Having signed degree articulation agreements with well-respected universities such as Johnson & Wales University (USA), University of West London (UK) and William Angliss Institute (Australia), there are six bachelor degrees including a bachelor degree in culinary nutrition.
Two of these degrees with Johnson & Wales University can be pursued totally on-line while continuing a full time job in Singapore or with an option to study one summer or one semester overseas.
A number of hotels are keen to offer degree scholarships and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) recently announced 50% degree scholarship co-funding with the industry.
In summary, there are so many education, training and career prospects for anyone who has service talent and is excited about the world of food and food service. We will continue to do everything we can to make it easier for employers and employees.