The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), at-sunrice The Singapore Culinary Academy and Spice Garden and SIM University (UniSIM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to form a culinary education alliance to further professionalise and develop talent for the culinary industry.
This unique collaboration will see the Food & Beverage (F&B) Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ)-aligned Diploma in Culinary Craft and Service Excellence (DCCSE) offered by at-sunrice becoming a ticket for direct entry into the 2nd year of SIM University (UniSIM)'s Bachelor in Culinary Arts and Management programme for those who meet UniSIM's basic entry requirements.
Come January 2007, UniSIM, Singapore's fourth university, providing opportunities for working professionals and adult learners, will offer the Bachelor in Culinary Arts and Management (BCAM) programme, the first and only culinary degree programme in Singapore. The BCAM covers both the essential management skills relevant to the F&B industry and practical culinary knowledge including Food Anthropology, Food & Nutrition, Wine & Beverages.
DCCSE provides a practical avenue for the students to gain exposure to learn with renowned restaurants in the industry, like Iggy's, Tung Lok, Saint Pierre, Michaelangelo's, Singapore Airline Terminal Services (SATS), etc. during their apprenticeship. In aligning to the F&B WSQ system developed by WDA based on industry's experience and relevance, graduates can now obtain nationally recognized qualifications thereby raising the skills profile of the F&B industry. Since May, 100 scholarships are jointly offered by WDA and at-sunrice for the DCCSE programme to attract more talent into the industry. So far, 40 scholarships had been awarded in the last two months and there are 60 more available. Applications available online at www.at-sunrice.com.
"WDA is always ready to work with partners that will extend the reach and breadth of our CET infrastructure. We are therefore delighted to be working with UniSIM and at-sunrice. Our partnership has strengthened the relevance of WSQ to workers and industry and will contribute to building that pipeline of 2,000 chefs needed over the next three years." said Mr Ong Ye Kung, Chief Executive of WDA.
"at-sunrice is delighted to be the lead training provider for WDA's CRAFT culinary scholarships," commented Mrs Kwan Lui, Founder, at-sunrice. "These 100 recipients are the pioneer batch to validate the WSQ robustness and acceptance by the F&B Industries. We are committed to making WSQ a successful mission. In 15 months, these graduates will be the first batch to be competent to deliver eastern and western cuisines, and to have completed the Work & Study stint with the best of F&B outlets in Singapore."
Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President of UniSIM, remarked: "The BCAM will add value to the current culinary courses available, mainly at diploma and technical level. This degree initiative fits into the advanced-level end of the spectrum of training, continuing education, and upgrading that is being made available to Singapore's culinary workforce. Those who successfully complete the WSQ programmes at advanced level, and who find that they have the determination, interest and potential to go beyond their diploma qualifications, can go on to the degree programme."
The MOU was signed against the backdrop of the opening of at-sunrice's new wing. The at-sunrice's New Wing boasts an additional 6,000 sq ft of training facilities to the existing 5-year old premises with leading edge design and equipment for Asian and Western cooking. A Pastry and Baking School and a Wine Academy are new attractions at the facility. The upgraded and expanded facilities will enable at-sunrice to increase its intake to 500 students annually, making it one of the most advanced and largest culinary academies in the region.
The F&B industry employs more than 60,000 people. It is estimated that the sector needs another 2,000 chefs and about 6,000 service staff over the next three years.