Photo from vkeong

According to the Hawker Centre 3.0 Committee headed by Senior Minister of State Amy Khor, the Singapore government is trying to get young Singaporeans to be hawkers. Among the committee’s recommendations include a training scheme under “veteran” hawkers and creating “incubation stalls” where new hawkers get to “try out” 6 to 12 months in cooking.

There will also be a cooking course that teaches one how to cook hawker food:

“This course is not meant to be equivalent to a full-fledged culinary certification programme but one that provides relevant practical and basic skills to enable the aspiring hawker to get started. Essentially, this programme could establish a pathway for interested participants to learn about the hawker trade, acquire culinary and business management skills, as well as have some opportunity to experience being a hawker and eventually become one. We could form a panel of willing supervisors/mentors to provide coaching and guidance to these aspiring hawkers as they establish their businesses.”

However there is no mention of the earning potential and working hours of the hawker trade. Young Singaporeans do not choose hawking as a career because of the low pay, long hours and harsh working environment. A typical chicken rice hawker will need to wake up as early as 5am in the morning to take food stock for the day and prepare the stall, and one would work as late as 10pm to finish cleaning up the stall. The average age of hawkers in Singapore is 59, and is likely to age further as young Singaporeans shun the trade.