June 18, 2018
Speech by Assoc Prof Muhammad Faishal Bin Ibrahim, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education, at the Republic Polytechnic Hospitality Race 2018 Finals
Mr Yeo Li Pheow, Principal/CEO, Republic Polytechnic,
School Principals, Teachers, Parents,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon to everyone.
1.I am very happy to be able to come back to RP to meet very good friends, and I always admire students who show their keenness to learn and enjoy the joy of learning. I am inspired by what our youths can do when given the right environment, right context and conditions for them to grow. I am happy to be able to join you for the third edition of the Hospitality Race finals organised by Republic Polytechnic’s School of Hospitality.
2.Hospitality is very unique and has importance in our lives. In fact, many of us travel overseas or use hospitality services here in Singapore and realised that when you look at or when you receive services from staff in this industry, especially those who do it with their passion, heart and mind, you will feel happy. Secondly, you also feel that this person does this not only as a career or a job, but as a life. I think this is something I have felt earlier when I interacted with the participants earlier, who shared about their ingredients and creation, and I told them to go back and do it for their parents too. I understand that this year’s Hospitality Race 2018 has been scaled up to include more hospitality business elements including the creation of an event proposal showcase based on a Carnival-style RP Graduation Party theme. Participants have to take into consideration various aspects – the choice of venue, layout of venue, budget, profile of guests, entertainment, and menu planning. It is definitely not an easy challenge. I salute all participants for your determination and courage!
3. The hospitality sector is key to Singapore’s economy. As reported in The Business Times dated 13 February 2018 Singapore’s tourism receipts are slated to grow - between 1 and 3 per cent to hit S$27.1 to S$27.6 billion. We may also see the number of visitor arrivals edging up by 1 to 4 per cent to reach between 17.6 million and 18.1 million in 2018. For the second year running, the tourism sector registered record highs in tourism spending and visitor arrivals last year. It is evident that the travel and hospitality business is flourishing in Singapore and around the world. However, there is still a big shortfall in qualified talent to support that growth. A white paper released by Hilton WorldWide and International Youth Foundation showed that by 2022, 73 million new travel & tourism jobs will be available, 46.1 million of which will be in Asia Pacific.
4.With such developments, the hospitality industry clearly offers diverse options and opportunities. This trend can also be seen in other key sectors of our economy. With the economy rapidly changing, it can be daunting for students to make discerning education and career decisions. That is why MOE is committed to providing an immersive education and career guidance (ECG) experience to help students better understand your interests and strengths before making these crucial choices in life. ECG experiences, such as this Hospitality Race, are part of a structured ECG curriculum that is designed to help you gain insights into various sectors. By making information on the training landscape accessible and readily available, we hope that students will be able to better identify their areas of strengths and interests, and the available skills upgrading pathways that are best suited for them.
5.I am very pleased to see so many students today participating in the Hospitality Race. Through this platform, you get a chance to develop your skills in areas such as research, project management, communication, decision-making, teamwork, and time management; and at the same time, find out more about the hospitality industry. I encourage you to continue participating in various activities to discover and develop your interests and strengths. Please continue to explore different industries and occupations, so that you can make an informed choice on your education and career pathway in the future.
6.I had a quick tour of the Race venue just now, and I am impressed with the quality of the training facility in the School of Hospitality. The school also has experienced faculty who can share relevant experiences from working in the sector and impart valuable skills and knowledge to the students via an industry-relevant curriculum, to prepare them for the workforce. Secondary school students who join RP’s School of Hospitality can look towards developing a strong foundation and pursuing a career in industries such as culinary, customer experience, events, food and beverage, or hotel and wellness.
7.I would like to commend the devotion and dedication of the teachers who have spent many precious hours coaching and guiding your students for this Race. When I spoke to the students, they told me that they learnt some parts of it in school and when they came here, they are prepared for it. Thank you to all the teachers for making the effort.
8.Not forgetting too, the family members who have supported the participants throughout this Race. I am sure they have benefited much from this experience. I have children, maybe a little bit older, and I think our support gave them the assurance that everyone in the family is part of the journey. Although we may not be experts in the things they do, but our support will go a long way. Since they are still young, it is more about letting them gain the experience rather than winning, because it will make them improve and learn from their mistakes and be a stronger person.
9.Congratulations to Republic Polytechnic, School of Hospitality for successfully organising this Hospitality Race once again.
10.10. And before I end, I would like to give another a big applause to all the participants. My last message to them will be to keep learning and be receptive to new experiences that will help build on their passion and interest in the hospitality sector. Just like other industries, it is susceptible to changes. You must keep up with times so that you can give a new experience to your clients whenever they are, and that will be something that will come back for more and is part of the wholesome experience. I wish you all the best in your journey ahead.