Singapore Allows Restaurant To Hire Chefs From India

Singapore Allows Restaurant To Hire Chefs From India

Singapore Allows Restaurant To Hire Chefs From India

Indian chefs have been added to Singapore’s list of authorised workers in an effort to address the labour shortages in the country’s hospitality industry. This action intends to increase the talent pool for particular job roles in the manufacturing and services sectors.

Traditionally, the services and manufacturing sectors in Singapore have predominantly sourced their work permit holders from countries such as China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, and Taiwan.

The Ministry of Manpower has recently introduced the application procedure for cooks working in Indian restaurants within the city-state. Businesses interested in employing work permit holders from Non-Traditional Sources (NTS) can begin submitting their applications through the ministry’s website starting September 1.

Countries like Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand are considered as NTS countries.

Indian chefs are now eligible to be hired by people with work permits, joining the ranks of housekeepers and porters as a result of this change.


The ministry has specified that the applications would be evaluated by a committee made up of business and government specialists with an emphasis on Indian cuisine.

By making this change, restaurants are now able to engage cooks not only from India but also from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. By accepting these new sources of immigration alongside its current ones, such as Malaysia, China, and North Asian nations, Singapore hopes to further improve its diversified gastronomic environment.

S Mahenthiran, CEO of Catering Solutions and Honorary Secretary of the Indian Restaurants Association (Singapore), applauded this choice and emphasised how it may enable Indian restaurants to deliver authentic cuisine while retaining the rich Indian history.

According to The Straits Times newspaper, the amended NTS Occupation List includes jobs like welders and particular food processing workers in addition to Indian restaurant cooks. It was first presented during the 2022 Budget debate.

Employers must pay these workers a fixed minimum wage of SGD 2,000 per month. Additionally, excluding Employment Pass holders, these employees must account for 8% or less of the employer’s overall workforce.

The Singapore Hotel Association’s Margaret Heng, Executive Director, praised the government’s choice and emphasised how operations in the hospitality sector are impacted by labour shortages. The industry is essential for preserving Singapore’s status as a top tourist destination.

In order to properly address businesses’ workforce difficulties, Sim Gim Guan, Executive Director of the Singapore National businesses Federation, emphasised the significance of cautiously allowing employees from NTS nations for specific job roles.

Sim stated that taking this action is crucial to ensuring that Singapore remains a desirable destination for meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibits, and tourism.

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