Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Hawkers Succession Scheme
Mr Mohd Fahmi Bin Aliman: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether NEA will be providing a report indicating the effectiveness of the Hawkers Succession Scheme upon the conclusion of its pilot next year; and (b) how does NEA work with stakeholders of the hawker community such as food advocates and representatives from hawkers’ associations and culinary training institutes in this pilot scheme.
Mr Mohd Fahmi Bin Aliman: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) what is the amount of nominal stipend given to veteran hawkers for their effort and time in guiding aspiring successors during the apprenticeship and mentorship phases under the Hawkers’ Succession Scheme; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider including veteran stallholders with less than 15 years of experience so as to benefit more hawkers.
The Hawkers Succession Scheme (HSS) helps to sustain the hawker trade and heritage, by facilitating retiring veteran hawkers to pass down their culinary skills, recipes and hawker stalls to aspiring successors. This will be done through a paired apprenticeship and mentorship programme.
NEA has been consulting the hawker community, such as veteran hawkers, representatives from Hawkers’ Associations, food advocates and culinary chefs to seek their views on the pilot scheme. Many have expressed support and offered valuable suggestions on the scheme, which we are studying.
We will convene an independent advisory panel comprising members of the hawker community to assist us in areas such as identifying suitable veteran hawkers who are thinking of retiring, and assessing the potential successors’ readiness to take over. For a start, we are considering hawkers with at least 15 years of experience as it is a reasonable period of time for hawkers to hone their recipes and culinary skills, and build their clientele, to be considered as a “veteran”. Nevertheless, we are also open to considering veteran hawkers with fewer years of experience in exceptional circumstances.
NEA is finalising the details of the HSS, including the amount of the nominal stipend for the veteran hawkers, and aims to launch the pilot scheme later this year. We will provide updates on the outcomes of the two-year pilot including its effectiveness, when they are available.
Notwithstanding this, aspiring hawkers can currently participate in NEA’s Hawkers’ Development Programme (HDP), which provides them with opportunities to undergo structured training as well as apprenticeship with veteran hawker mentors before starting their own hawker businesses.