Get leaner to stay ahead, says Lim Swee Say

Get leaner to stay ahead, says Lim Swee Say
In an interview with Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say after his first month in office, he cited examples of the hospitality and F&B industries.

This is one of the ways the food and beverage (F&B) industry can help fight the labour crunch, said Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say yesterday.

Some restaurant owners he met said overseas eateries were reducing their menu so fewer staff were needed to run the kitchens.

This will be necessary in Singapore as growth in the manpower pool slows down.

Foreign workers used to make up about 20 per cent of the work force, but the number is now closer to a third, said Mr Lim.

In his first month on the job, Mr Lim has met with employer groups, business chambers and trade associations and they have agreed to work on four priorities:

Becoming more manpower lean

Having a strong Singapore core

Increasing the quality of foreign workers

Ensuring Singapore stays competitive. 

Elaborating on making the workforce more productive, Mr Lim cited examples of the hospitality and F&B industries and how some in the industry are looking at what other countries are doing to deal with a shortage of staff.

"For instance, if the menu is 10 pages, they ask themselves if they can be good at all the dishes.

"If not, they can reduce (the menu) to five pages. When you reduce the menu, the staff is also reduced and can focus better.

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