PAP Govt is serving up higher wages & skills training for 41,000 Food Services workers

The tables will turn next Wednesday (Mar 1, 2023).

41,000 cooks, waiters and other workers in the Food Services sector will be the ones being served up something good.

About 12,000 lower-wage workers in this sector will have their wages rise to at least S$1,750 per month under the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) scheme. This is the new baseline wage for the food sector and will increase to S$2,080 in 2025.

Also on the menu: Help for all Food Services workers to learn new skills for better jobs. Employers will need to ensure that these workers earn at least two Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) Statements of Attainment.

“Workers covered under Food Services PWM will see up to 9 per cent adjustments in their wages and with entry-level workers, a 19 per cent adjustment over a there year time period from 2023 to 2025,” wrote MP Ms Yeo Wan Ling (Pasir Ris–Punggol GRC), who chaired the Tripartite Cluster for Food Services these past two years.

Source: Yeo Wan Ling / Facebook

“Under the PWM we will also be seeing increased productivity in the sector with workers upskilling & training; clear career progression pathways; and the introduction of technology and other enablers.”

The PWM will help 94 per cent of lower-wage workers

This immediate and sustained three-year increase and skills development for the Food Services sector is part of the PAP Government’s ongoing efforts to uplift lower-wage workers. The Party takes action to ensure that the benefits of progress are spread widely to all.

Hence the PWM, which is co-developed by tripartite committees consisting of unions, employers and the Government. Since 2014, it has been uplifting lower-wage workers’ wages through upgrading skills and improving productivity.

“Joining cleaning, security, landscaping, lift & escalator maintenance, retail and waste management, this will be the Labour Movement’s seventh PWM sector,” wrote Ms Yeo.

“The seven PWMs will cover some 174,000 workers,” she noted of the Model’s wide reach.     

Source: Yeo Wan Ling / Facebook

In fact, the Food Services PWM is not the only upcoming improvement coming to lower-wage workers.    

“The Occupational Progressive Wage for Administrators and Drivers will also take effect from Mar 1, 2023, benefitting about 195,000 full-time and part-time resident administrators and drivers,” wrote the Ministry of Manpower on Feb 15.

These expansions will support up to 94 per cent of lower-wage employees being covered by Progressive Wages in 2023.

In other words, the PAP Government is, true to its roots in the Labour Movement, committed to helping lower-wage workers bring home more money and prepare for the uncertain future .

The Progressive Wage Mark helps all stakeholders

Now, if you’re an employer, you might be finding these changes to Food Services and other sectors a bit …hard to swallow.

But fret not, the Government will co-fund the increased wage.

“The Government is co-funding quite a bit of the wage increases, in order to ease the transition,” reassured Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong in September 2022.

“Quite a bit” means 75 per cent co-funding of these wage increases in 2022, 50 per cent for this year, 30 per cent for 2024-25 and 15 per cent for 2026.

More, workers with improved skills benefit their employers and customers.

Look forward to March 1 (and the rest of this year), then, when the PWMs get upsized and help lower-wage workers fuel up for the future.

Cover photo credit: Yeo Wan Ling / Facebook, e2i