Channel NewsAsia

Changi Prison cafe trains offenders for hospitality, F&B jobs

Trainees can receive a WSQ Certificate in Culinary Arts or in F&B Operations.

SINGAPORE: A new training kitchen and restaurant has been set up within Changi Prison Complex to enhance the training offered to offenders, so that they are better prepared for careers in the food and beverage or hospitality industries upon release.

Hope Cafe is a joint initiative by the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE), Workforce Development Agency and Singapore Prison Service. Inmates who are assessed to be suitable for jobs in the food and beverage sector and hospitality industry will undergo training under the Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) framework. The cafe then provides a setting for them to gain hands-on experience.

More than 150 offenders have been trained at the cafe since its inception in November last year and another 204 will be trained by the end of this year. Trainees can achieve either a WSQ Certificate in F&B Operations or in Culinary Arts.

SCORE provides employment assistance upon the completion of training to help offenders secure jobs before their release. It will also assign job coaches to help with issues they may face when re-entering the workforce.

Said Mr Stanley Tang, CEO of SCORE: “The alignment of training to the WSQ framework will better prepare the offenders for careers in the hospitality and F&B industries upon release.”

Senior Minister of State (Health and Manpower) Amy Khor, who attended Hope Cafe’s opening ceremony on Tuesday (June 24), noted that the number of employers in the hospitality and F&B industries partnering SCORE has increased from 175 in 2008 to 791. “This shows that more employers in this sector are receptive towards hiring based on merit and skills, regardless of background or past records,” she said.

About 9,000 offenders are released from prison each year.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia