The Singaporean government has recently announced a major human capital investment worth Dh1.3 billion as part of a wider tourism strategy that has targets to achieve 17 million visitor arrivals and Dh110 billion in tourism receipts by 2015.
Through the TOurism TALent (TOTAL) Plan, the funds will train 74,000 new tourism workers within the next three years, significantly enhancing service levels in order to support the island-nation’s ambitious tourism goals.
Jointly developed by the Singapore Tourism Board and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), the initiative will tap into local talent to meet the projected spike in demand driven by new tourism investments including two new integrated resorts – Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World at Sentosa.
The holistic three pronged approach comprises of continuing education and training for adult workers, pre-employment training for students and industry development to attract more workers to join the industry.
The WDA aims to convert 36,000 non-tourism workers to take on various service jobs such as hospitality, service and retail assistants, waiters and hotel receptionists. Apart from portable service skills, specialized skills are needed for other tourism jobs such as ride technicians, animal trainers, tour hosts and landscape technicians. This will ensure a pool of trained workers and will facilitate labour mobility across a range of sectors within the industry.
“With new and upcoming attractions like the Integrated Resorts (IR’s) and the Singapore Flyer and events like Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Singapore’s tourism industry will witness a surge in demand for manpower. We are therefore investing in vital human resources in anticipation of this major visitor boost from areas such as the Middle East,” said Siew-Kheng Kang, Regional Director for South Asia, Middle East & Africa, Singapore Tourism Board.
The expanded community of tourism workers will also be supported by more resources for Middle East visitors, including a greater volume of printed and online material in Arabic to facilitate their visits to Singapore.