Published: 11 September 2017
Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether a rehabilitation programme can be implemented for inmates to plan, prepare, cook, and serve meals to the public whereby they can (i) learn ethics, teamwork, culinary and service skills (ii) experience career progression and (iii) earn a food handler certification, valuable trade experience and monetary savings upon their release.
1. The Singapore Prison Service (SPS) partners the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE) to provide work and vocational training programmes in prison as part of the overall inmate rehabilitation programme. These work programmes help to keep the inmates meaningfully occupied during their prison term and enhance their work ethic, skills as well as employability upon their release. The work programmes also enable inmates to receive an allowance which is saved in their prison account and can be sent home to their families or withdrawn upon their release.
2. Food preparation work and training programmes are available in prison. Suitable inmates are emplaced on work and training programmes at the kitchen facilities in prison. Besides preparing food for prison meals, the inmates are trained to prepare meals for external corporate and private functions. The Dining Behind Bars programme also provides opportunities for inmates to prepare and serve meals to invited guests in prison.
3. The culinary skills training provided within prison is aligned with the Workforce Singapore (WSG) Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) framework. The training programmes also simulate the actual work environment to better prepare inmates to readily apply their skills to their future workplaces. Inmates are able to acquire WSQ certifications, which will help them secure better jobs upon their release.
4. An example of such training is the Hope Café/Training Kitchen located in Changi Prisons. The Hope Café is a kitchen jointly set up by WSG, SPS and SCORE to provide inmates with the opportunities to obtain WSQ Certificates in Culinary Arts and Food & Beverage Operations. Close to 200 inmates are trained at the Hope Café every year.
5. To support their reintegration, SCORE also assist these trained inmates to find related work in the Food & Beverage industry. This allows inmates to apply the training to their jobs after release.