jarran at our client site

Enabling Talents: Samsui-Sodexo Train & Place Programme

Published on : 12/3/21
  • The UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities is a timely reminder to provide opportunities for an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID World. We look back on our inclusive hiring journey so far.

    In 2019, Sodexo and Samsui Supplies & Services Pte Ltd (Samsui) launched a creative Train and Place programme to equip persons with disabilities with the relevant skills for a career in the F&B industry. Since Sodexo’s founding over 50 years ago, our mission is to improve the quality of life. It is hence natural for us to work together with like-minded local partners like Samsui to create inclusive opportunities and contribute to social development.

    This partnership leverages on Samsui’s experience in the F&B and social sectors and Sodexo’s global expertise in providing food services and our robust standards of health and safety. In six months, trainees are exposed to various modules in F&B culinary skills and operations, gaining insights into working in the industry.

    Over the last two years, we have successfully trained 3 batches of trainees. In spite of the challenges posed by the pandemic, we continued to adapt the programme by conducting home-based virtual lessons for trainees.

    Preparing Our Teams

    Before embarking on the journey, our team members have to undergo training by agencies such as SG Enable to be equipped with the skills to interact with the differently abled. In this programme, our Culinary Manager, Alan Tng, as well as our Learning & Development Team, jointly foster a supportive eco-system to develop the trainees. 

    Chef Alan

    Chef Alan, one of the Sodexo chefs whom assist in trainings at Samsui Village

    Incorporating A Comprehensive Curriculum

    To equip trainees with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in the F&B industry, the programme is broken down into 3 phases.

    Phase 1

    In phase 1, the training is carried out using Sodexo’s theoretical frameworks integrated with hands-on activities. Continual assessments are conducted to monitor the trainees’ progress. 

    Phase 2

    In phase 2, trainees will ‘watch, try and practice’. They receive guidance from their job mentor, who will continue with to assist them in job placement. During the lockdown in Singapore, these classes were conducted over Zoom. 

    Phase 3

    In the final phase, trainees are placed in a role with at one of Sodexo’s sites or Samsui’s network of F&B outlets for practical training. These locations are assessed thoroughly to ensure that they have the necessary infrastructure and trained team members to enable the growth of the trainees. 

    Creating New Horizons

    One of our proud trainees who graduated from the programme is Jarren Khoo. Formerly working at Samsui’s kitchen, he has now moved on to working at the café of one of Sodexo’s pharmaceutical clients. To ensure that he adapts to the new environment and gets necessary support, he is paired with a Sodexo buddy. 

    Jarren shared this when asked why he wants to join the F&B industry. 

    I want to cook for my family and the guests at the hotel.

    Jarran showcasing the pau he made

    Jarran showcasing the pau he made

    Several months into his role, here is what fellow colleagues have to say about Jarren. Café Manager, Qiu Min Lim, shared that

    Jarren is very eager to learn and asks a lot of questions. His enthusiasm and energy are contagious, and we all work harder together with him. His mother recently shared pictures of him practicing making toast and breakfast for them at home. She also told us that of late, he has started sharing with them about all that he has learnt at the café, which he never used to do. He is happy and looks forward to coming to work. We are very proud of him and delighted at his progress.

    By matching the trainees with suitable F&B positions after they complete the programme, we help create an environment for the trainees to maximise their full potential. It is our goal to assist them in gaining a measure of independence and social mobility through employment. Barista, Li Hoon Ng, added,

    Jarren is a hardworking individual who will take the initiative to ask if he can help us with any task and someone who is willing to learn as he will always ask questions when he is in doubt.

    As we commemorate this occasion, we will continue to work with our clients and partners to build a diverse workforce. Learn more about this programme via this video.