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NTUC’s e2i to launch survey to address barista and chef skill gaps

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The Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) is launching an industry-wide survey to identify and address gaps in the training and competencies of chefs and baristas.

THE Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) is launching an industry-wide survey to identify and address gaps in the training and competencies of chefs and baristas.

e2i is an initiative by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) to provide a network for individuals and companies seeking skills and solutions for growth.

NTUC's e2i said that as the global and local economy moves into Industry 4.0 (also known as the fourth industrial revolution), the food and beverage (F&B) industry in Singapore will likewise be disrupted by new technologies and trends. As more companies adopt these technologies, workers in these companies find themselves struggling to adapt to or to use these new technologies, it added.

Through its research, e2i aims to better develop training programmes and nurture relevant skills with the end goal of transforming the current chef and barista role to be more in line with the demands for Industry 4.0.

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With the broad overview of the skills sets future workers will require, e2i is working towards translating Worker 4.0 into industry-specific goals, said NTUC's e2i. This research will be targeted at identifying the gaps in training and competencies in professional chefs and baristas, to better develop training programmes and nurture relevant skills "with the end goal of transforming the current chef and barista to become Chef 4.0 and Barista 4.0".

When asked about potential skill sets chefs and baristas may need for Industry 4.0, e2i said some of these skills can range from kitchen management, F&B business management to digital and automation skills. 

To better ascertain the needs of the industry as well as the skill sets required, e2i is adopting a consultative approach with its workers and industry partners, reaching out to at least 100 companies and individuals for their inputs, the results of which would be launched once the survey is complete.

As part of a year-long process, the research's first phase will begin this month as the first phase, and will comprise a holistic research methodology that includes a public survey and in-depth interviews. After this initial phase, a curriculum is to be developed and rolled-out for adoption.

Following the results from the survey of industry partners and the subsequent creation of a roadmap for a well-skill workforce, e2i will work with its training providers and F&B experts to roll out training programmes to upskill chefs and baristas.

The research component will be helmed by local F&B solutions provider Novitee and marketing agency Addpetizer.

Gilbert Tan, chief executive officer of e2i, said: “Even if F&B companies adopt all the advanced technologies available, at the end of the day we still need the workers to be onboard the transformation journey. They must comprehend and embrace these technologies to fully utilise them to move forward in tandem with the F&B industry,”