Project matches aspiring hawkers with veterans

Always wanted to be a hawker? There will be more help soon with a new programme to help aspiring hawkers hone their cooking skills.

The Singapore Workforce Development Agency and the National Environment Agency (NEA) have announced the Hawker Master Trainer Pilot Programme, which seeks to pair 50 trainees with veteran hawkers here.

To start later this year, the initiative is said to be the first between the Government and the private sector to preserve the hawker heritage.

It aims to have veteran hawkers pass on their culinary skills to aspiring hawkers, and train more hawkers for the 10 new hawker centres to be built by 2017.

The programme comprises two aspects. The first is a Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications training in food and beverage, which also teaches service skills and how to operate a hawker stall. The training is aimed at raising the professional image of hawkers as well.

The second is on-the-job training with veteran hawkers.

The veterans, called Hawker Master Trainers, are selected largely from the CEOs' Hawker Guide.

The list will be fine-tuned by the advisers of the pilot programme, real-estate agency Knight Frank and The Business Times, which launched the guide's first edition in 2010.

The Hawker Guide features top executives' favourite Singapore hawker stalls, and its second edition is slated to be launched on Thursday.

Trainees in the hawker-training programme can rent incubation hawker stalls for a period of time at NEA-designated hawker centres. The trainees can later tender for stalls at hawker centres of their choice.

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