Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Foreign Workers to Assist Elderly Hawkers by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Dr Tan Yia Swam: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment whether there can be consideration to allow hawkers who are above the age of 60 to hire one foreign worker to (i) help them with tasks such as food preparation and (ii) train them the preparation of such dishes to help preserve some of the hawker culture.
1 To safeguard and preserve the local identity of our hawker culture, only Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents are allowed to operate and work in hawker centres managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) or NEA-appointed operators. To address manpower challenges faced by our hawkers, we have introduced some schemes to help them adopt technology which could allow them to achieve higher productivity in food preparation and service delivery. For instance, we recently enhanced the Hawkers’ Productivity Grant which provides hawkers with up to 80% co-funding support capped at $7,000, for stall-level kitchen automation equipment and digital services solutions such as e-ordering and queue management.