More than 3,000 jobs in the food & beverage (F&B) and hospitality sectors await job seekers at a two-day job fair at the Sports Hub.
As of 4pm yesterday, at least 500 applications had been made. The event ends today.
The fair, organised by the Hospitality Alliance Singapore (HAS) and the Workforce Development Agency (WDA), showcases industry and career prospects.
It includes the job exhibition, panel discussions and insights from industry veterans. One novelty event was a "Hospitality Race" which involved mixing mocktails and completing other tasks against the clock.
The fair aims to attract over 2,000 visitors, but response is likely to exceed expectations.
Ms Noornizawati Sohaimi, 33, who applied for an executive post, said: "A job fair like this makes things easier for the unemployed, who don't have to travel from place to place."
Another job seeker, Madam Ann Tan, 58, said it was never too late for a new challenge.
After two decades with an F&B crew, she spent four years helping to look after her family. She now plans to return to work as a dim sum chef trainee. "I look forward to mentoring and learning from my younger co-workers," she said in Mandarin.
HAS chairman Cheong Hai Poh said the event is the first collaborative effort among its seven associations, to entice people to join the sector.
The hospitality sector saw a difficult first quarter this year. Revenues fell just as it was struggling with manpower shortages.
HAS also pledged to further support WDA's efforts in piloting the SkillsFuture initiative. This is a national movement to provide Singaporeans with opportunities to develop throughout life.
For instance, Sakae Holdings and WDA are collaborating on the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn for Food Services, a work-study programme for aspiring chefs.
Ms Janice Foo, director of WDA's tourism division, said in a statement: "As we empower each individual to take charge of their learning journey, we also encourage them to become masters of their own crafts and skills."
Mr Cheong, who rose to his current post as general manager of Conrad Centennial hotel despite not having a degree, advised against going on a paper chase. He said lifelong learning, instead of job-hopping to secure higher positions, was the way forward.
Hospitality school Shatec's chief executive Margaret Heng, whose company was one of 16 exhibitors at the fair, added that with the right attitude, the hospitality sector would provide opportunities for career advancement, faster than any other industry.
This article was first published on April 11, 2015.
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