Speech by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for MOE and MOM, Ms Low Yen Ling, at the Tourism Transformation 2018

Published Date: 31 October 2018 12:00 AM

News Speeches

Mr Peter Lam, Principal & CEO, Temasek Polytechnic,

Mr Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive, Skillsfuture Singapore

Mr Aaron Hung, Senior Director of Partnership APAC, Tripadvisor

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning.

I am delighted to be here at the inaugural Tourism Career Fair organised by the Tourism Sector Coordination Team at Temasek Polytechnic.

1. As one of the largest economic sectors globally, tourism creates jobs, drives exports, and generates prosperity across the world. Not only is tourism a dynamic engine of economic opportunities for businesses to network and expand, it also impacts us on a personal level as many of us enjoy going on vacations with our family and friends, to unwind and create invaluable memories. This is a very meaningful industry that connects lives in multiple ways.

2. Through the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), we have focused on building up Singapore’s tourism sector to reinforce our status as a vibrant global city, as well as to ensure that tourism remains an important economic pillar for the country. I think Singapore is on the radar for a lot of corporations and people in other parts of the world. They are curious about what makes us tick. For 2018, STB forecasts tourism receipts to be in the range of 27.1 to 27.6 billion Singapore dollars, with international visitor arrivals projected to be between 17.6 to 18.1 million people. This is a sector that is growing, and I am confident that it will continue to grow. There is therefore much potential to develop and train our people, especially our young Singaporeans, so as to better meet the growing needs of the tourism industry and the increasingly savvy tourists and businesses.

3. One of the major concerns of Governments everywhere in the world is ensuring quality jobs for their people. According to Gloria Guevara Manzo, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council, Travel & Tourism supports one in every ten jobs on the planet. The multiplying effect and the spillover effect is very extensive. Over the past ten years, one in five of all jobs created across the world has been in this sector. Clearly, this is a growth sector. There are therefore opportunities aplenty in this vibrant industry. I am sure that this fair will showcase some of these wonderful opportunities.

4. The tourism and travel industry, like many others, is evolving very quickly. For example, technological advances are transforming the industry and spurring innovation and growth. With this pervasive wave of change, emerging skills such as data analytics and big data, digitalisation of business operations, and curation of customer experience have become very highly sought after. Many young people now love to visit exotic locations and want their experience to be curated and personalized. Curation of customer experience is thus very important for this sector. Hence, workers in this industry need to have the necessary support to ride the wave of change through skills upgrading and reskilling. The SkillsFuture initiative seeks to do that by equipping the workforce with skillsets that can help them thrive in this ever evolving industry.

Launch of Skills Framework for Tourism

5. Today, I am happy to announce the launch of the Skills Framework for Tourism, jointly developed by SkillsFuture Singapore, Workforce Singapore, and STB, together with employers, industry associations, education and training providers and unions. The Skills Framework aims to support individuals working in the industry by providing information such as trends, career pathways, occupations, skills and competencies that are sought after, as well as available training programmes. These training programmes will help you to pick up the skillsets and competencies, therefore placing you in good stead to pick up new jobs in this growth sector. Under the Skills Framework for Tourism, a career map encompassing 69 job roles, critical work functions, key tasks, and skills and competencies for five career pathways have been identified. The five career pathways are:

  1. Business Development, Sales, Sponsorships and Marketing
  2. Attractions Management and Operations
  3. Event Management and Operations
  4. Venue Management and Operations and
  5. Travel Management and Operations

6. Leveraging the Skills Framework, many training programmes have been developed by our local polytechnics and ITE to cater to such industry needs. Data analytics and big data, as well as the digitalisation of business operations, which I mentioned earlier, are areas that have not usually been associated with the tourism sector. However, they are now essential skills for the professional who wants to move up in the tourism business, switch jobs within the sector, as well as help the business grow. To this end, our local polytechnics and ITE play a pivotal role in the training of individuals who will embark on careers in the tourism sector. They have many programmes to enable students and adult learners who want to take up courses in data analytics and digitalisation of business operations.

Tourism Career Fair

7. I would like to take the opportunity to thank Temasek Polytechnic, the many industry partners, together with SkillsFuture Singapore, Workforce Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board and the rest of the Polytechnics and ITEs for your efforts in organising this inaugural Tourism Career Fair. I understand that we have 23 industry partners participating in today’s career fair. I encourage our students here today to visit the career booths to find out more about the exciting developments in the sector. I hope that through this career fair, participating students will glean insights into the tourism jobs of tomorrow and perhaps decide to embark on a career in tourism. To our partners, I hope this event provides you with a platform to network, exchange ideas and develop collaborations that will benefit students in future.

Thank you.

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