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Singapore brand mark to be introduced for local lifestyle products
SINGAPORE will introduce a Singapore brand mark for local consumer lifestyle products in November, as part of efforts to deepen the trust premium for local brands.
It will first be applied to products related to food and beverage (F&B), fashion and accessories, beauty and wellness, and homeware and decor, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Monday, adding that a road map for the mark and related plans for the various sectors will be revealed in due course.
Mr Chan noted that Singapore's food manufacturing industry has seen a compounded annual growth rate of about 6.45 per cent per annum between 2013 and 2018. While this took a hit during the "circuit breaker" period, the industry is continuing its growth trajectory.
Indeed, the Covid-19 pandemic has made people more conscious of the need for food security. Singapore's experience with agri-tech and research and development gives the country a competitive advantage, he added.
"If we can do this well, it will further strengthen our own domestic food resilience, because the more we produce for the region and the world, the more able we are to guarantee our food supply by making sure that we are a critical part of the global value chain. So this is our strategy to grow our resilience, and at the same time create better jobs for fellow Singaporeans," he explained.
More than 800 companies in the food sector - comprising food services and food manufacturing - have offered about 6,700 opportunities in jobs, traineeships and training places since April, said the Ministry of Manpower's (MOM) in its jobs situation report.
Of this, 44 per cent are for PMETs (professionals, managers, executives and technicians) and include roles such as food technologists, chefs, F&B services managers, and business development managers. Salaries for F&B services managers ranged from S$2,450 and S$3,300, and between S$2,500 and S$6,050 for manufacturing managers.
Roles for non-PMETs include supervisors and general foreman (food processing), bakers, pastry and confectionery makers, and shop and store salespersons. Waiters' salaries ranged between S$1,500 and S$2,000, while food processing supervisors and general foremen's salaries ranged between S$2,250 and S$2,750.
Between April and July this year, more than 1,800 individuals have, through Workforce Singapore's (WSG) programmes, found jobs or took on new roles in the sector. Of this, more than half (56 per cent) were aged 40 and above.
Within the food manufacturing sub-sector, firms that have invested in automation have continued to grow. But, their business outlook remains mixed.
For instance, companies manufacturing staple foods and those that sold their products through retail chains saw a 30-70 per cent surge in sales. Conversely, companies supplying hotels, restaurants, cafes (HORECA) and food services space saw a 40-90 per cent decline in sales.
Hiring activities have mirrored these trends.
Companies producing staple food and/or sold through retail channels are likely to hire to meet ongoing or increased demand. Meanwhile, activity remains muted for companies serving HORECA and food services space.
Separately, the food services sub-sector was harder-hit by the pandemic, having to cope both with manpower shortage and low footfall.
That being said, both the WSG's Job Redesign Reskilling Programme - which was introduced in February - and efforts by companies to redesign and enhance jobs has seen traction. As at the end of August, close to 900 existing workers across 25 food service companies have been, or are being trained and redeployed into new and higher-value roles. Of this group, 74 per cent of them are aged 40 and above.
The Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) and the Association for Catering Professionals will be partnering WSG to reach out to more job seekers who have been affected by Covid-19 through virtual career fairs, said MOM.