Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Cross-trained foreign workers help ease festive labour crunch

By Zhao Quan Yin, Hetty Musfirah, Channel NewsAsia, 17 Feb 2013

A programme allowing foreign workers to be trained in various job scopes within the same industry has helped some businesses cope with the labour crunch during the Lunar New Year period.

Annalyn League Gulapa, who works with Crowne Plaza hotel at Singapore's Changi Airport, is one of the hotel's 13 foreign workers who have participated in such a programme.

Other than guest relations, Ms Gulapa also has the skills to work in the hotel's lounge and deal with housekeeping matters.

Staff who are cross trained are paid a bonus by the hotel. Training can take between six and 12 months. The programme is endorsed by the Manpower Ministry and Singapore Tourism Board.

The hotel said the move has helped improve productivity and cut redundancy rates.

Steven Chan, general manager at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, said: "They are a lot more efficient and they are deployed in the areas that the business needs. This Chinese New Year, there is a big pressure on the staff, I think. What helps is that we have a better opportunity for people who celebrate Lunar New Year to go on leave and have the rest of the staff, who are well-trained and trained in all other areas, to be able to cover for their colleagues."

Ms Gulapa said: "I feel more confident actually, because I feel if any guest needs help, I can assist them in the way that I can and I can apply all the training that I have been through."

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