'Hawkerpreneurs' in the making

Aspiring hawkers can soon look forward to taking part in a course conducted by big names, including the well-known food critic, K. F. Seetoh.

The 30-hour-long course, dubbed The Street Food Pro 360, is organised by Makansutra. Singaporeans and Permanent Residents will receive a 90 per cent subsidy off the $3,000 course fees, sponsored by the NTUC Employment and Employability Institute.

Although all are welcome for this course regardless of age or experience, the organisers hope to get younger applicants.

Mr Seetoh said he wants to preserve old street culture and professionalise the old ways.

He also hopes to provide opportunities for "people who don't want to stand at their stalls till they are 60 and then fade away".

The key difference between this course and the existing Hawker Master Trainer (HMT) Pilot Programme run by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency is that while the HMT Pilot Programme seeks to train aspiring hawkers to start stalls of their own, this course is intended to offer a broader look into the street food business.

It also seeks to teach students skills like cooking, management, entrepreneurship and creativity.

Asked about the goals of the course, Mr Seetoh said: "If this course can get 100 students, it will mean a lot to us."

He hopes to see, in five to 10 years' time, "a new generation of hawker centres, designed by the new generation".

Applications for the course close in September. Classes will start in the last quarter of the year.

This article was first published on May 27, 2014.
Get The New Paper for more stories.