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Training programme to prepare those with disabilities for F&B jobs

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Senior Minister of State Edwin Tong (third from right) with programme trainees and guests try their hand at making pau.

Singapore

SAMSUI Supplies & Services and Sodexo have jointly launched a "train-and-place" programme to equip individuals with disabilities with skills for careers in food and beverage (F&B) industry.

Leveraging Samsui's experience in the F&B and social sectors and Sodexo's global expertise in providing food services, the six-month-long programme exposes trainees to modules in culinary skills and operations, and offers them insights into working in the industry.

The first batch of eight trainees began their classes three weeks ago at the Samsui Centre of Hospitality.

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Their classes will cover areas such as safety and hygiene, inventory management, food preparation and culinary techniques.

Ang Kian Peng, director at Samsui Supplies & Services, said: "With 29 years' experience in the F&B industry and six years' experience in the social sector, Samsui is well-placed to run this programme.

"Together with Sodexo as our partner, we hope to build the trainees' independence through this programme and open up job opportunities for them."

The trainees will be put through training in both classroom and kitchen environments, and follow this up with on-the-job training with a mentor in a controlled work environment.

When they complete the programme, they may either move on to other courses or be matched to suitable positions in Sodexo's network of partners in hospitals, multi-national corporations or schools, or in a partner network of F&B operators sourced through Samsui.

Trainees may also choose to work in the training kitchen.

Johnpaul Dimech, country president for Sodexo Singapore, said: "Inclusive training and hiring are key drivers of sustainable business.

"Through this partnership, we foster a supportive eco-system to develop the trainees. By matching the trainees with suitable F&B positions after they complete the course, we create an environment for them to maximise their full potential."

The Samsui-Sodexo partnership was built with the support of SG Enable, an agency dedicated to enabling Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents with disabilities.

Ku Geok Boon, chief executive officer at SG Enable, hailed the creation of the partnership within the Enabling Village, a group of individuals and organisations that serve - and are supported by - people with diverse abilities.

The Enabling Village community space in Lengkok Bahru houses several social businesses and community services.

She said: "The Enabling Village was set up to serve as a focal point for services for persons with disabilities, especially in training and employment.

"We are delighted that the universally designed environment and the network of like-minded partners in the Enabling Village have successfully catalysed new training models such as this partnership."

The Samsui-Sodexo partnership was announced by Samsui last week and was officially launched by Edwin Tong, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and the Ministry of Health.