Even our Prime Minister heads to the hawker centre to fix his cravings.
But the hawker trade has been facing problems in recent times, with a seeming lack of interest among the young to become hawkers and unfavourable policies towards the young who wish to become hawkers.
To address these issues, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor outlined some plans to support the hawker trade on Wednesday in Parliament.
We bring you a taste of some:
Training opportunities for aspiring hawkers
Khor said that aspiring hawkers, young or otherwise, can look forward to a “Hawker Fare” series of culinary classes starting in May.
Jointly developed by Khor’s ministry (MEWR) and the People’s Association (PA), members of the public can learn how to cook hawker dishes like chicken rice, yong tau foo and mee goreng directly from veteran hawkers.
In addition to the “Hawker Fare” series, Khor said that MEWR was also working with ITE to develop a separate short course to teach aspiring hawkers relevant business management skills needed in setting up and managing a hawker business.
One-stop information and service centre
Khor says this centre will be set up in the second half of the year to serve existing and aspiring hawkers by providing information on how to tender for a stall, where to go for relevant courses, and the range of kitchen automation equipment available.
Incubation stall programme
Another initiative that will be launched by MEWR in the second half of the year is the incubation stall programme for aspiring hawkers.
Khor explained that under the programme, aspiring hawkers can try out being a hawker for a period, using stalls at hawker centres that have been pre-fitted by the National Environment Agency (NEA). She said this would allow them to decide if they are cut out for the trade without heavy investment.
To improve the productivity of hawkers, Khor said the government will set aside some $90 million to facilitate the adoption of productivity initiatives in hawker centres, such as centralised dishwashing integrated with tray returns, and cashless payment solutions.
Sounds pretty promising.
Top image from MEWR Facebook.