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Lack of Support in Professional Development Driving Employees to Leave Food Services Industry

Lack of support in professional development driving employees to leave food services industry

In Singapore, with the gradual recovery of the food services industry, nine in ten (91%) employees say that there is a manpower shortage and cite low wages (58%), long working hours (48%) and dealing with unreasonable customers (42%) as the top challenges they face at work.

A majority of employees (65%) expect to leave the food services industry in the foreseeable future, with 26% of them considering leaving in the next six months and 16% of them in the next year. Nearly three in four (72%) employees say the lack of skills development and training is a key factor in driving them to leave the industry. In fact, most (67%) reveal that they have not been enrolled in industry-relevant training programmes in the past two years, despite being keen in enhancing their skill sets in the areas of business management (35%), personal development (31%), and system and work process improvement (29%).

These are some of the key findings from the recently launched Industry Insights Report 2023 on Food Services, which aims to explore the current landscape of the food services, including the challenges and career outlook among employees. Based on a survey of 200 food services employees in Singapore, and interviews with industry practitioners and experts from NTUC LearningHub, the report also investigates the skills and training gaps among workers in relation to the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) in Singapore.

More than two in five (42%) employees in the food services industry voice that their employers have not taken any active steps to support them in career planning, with nearly a third (32%) report being unaware of the available career pathways in the industry. Nonetheless, employees express interest in pursuing career tracks such as research and development (34%), quality assurance and control (29%), and pastry and baking (28%).

Employees who do receive support from employers on career planning say that the most common steps taken are providing opportunities for career progression, such as promotions and expanded roles (25%), opportunities for learning and development (22%), and mentoring and career advice (20%).

Commenting on the survey findings, Tay Ee Learn, Chief Sector Skills Officer at NTUC LearningHub, says, “The introduction of the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) for the food services industry will indeed act as an anchor in the continual development of the workforce by facilitating wage and career progression. Businesses can now identify the relevant Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) training modules, such as those offered by training providers like NTUC LearningHub, to meet the mandatory requirements set out by the PWM; while exploring other industry-relevant skills and even Critical Core Skills (soft skills) that will benefit the business and workforce. More importantly, cultivating a robust ecosystem for learning and development by having business leaders champion skills development and lifelong learning will uplift employees by helping them achieve their career goals, and ensure longevity in the industry.”

To download the Industry Insights 2023 – Food Services report, please visit


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