SAFRA & SHATEC Deliver Bond-Free Subsidised Diploma Courses

Exciting news for NSmen who want to pursue a career in hospitality.

By Sean Yee        29 November 2023

SAFRA’s bond-free education scheme has just gotten a massive upgrade through its latest partnership with SHATEC (The International Hotel & Tourism School Singapore), which will expand the scheme’s offerings by adding a comprehensive series of bond-free subsidised diploma courses. At least 15 SAFRA applicants will get the opportunity to be enrolled in three of SHATEC’s proprietary subsidised Diploma programmes every year. 

We sat with SHATEC’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Lim Boon Kwee to find out more about this collaboration, as well as get his take on recent developments in the service industry.

A gateway to success

“The bedrock of Singapore’s hospitality industry stems from the passion and ambition of new and existing talents. It is SHATEC’s goal to allow these passions to flourish into inventive proficiencies that can further add value to the industry,” says Mr Lim. 

Successful applicants will be required to opt for one of three main specialisations as well as one of two study modes: 

Main Specialisations

  1. International Diploma in Hospitality Management
  2. International Diploma in Culinary Arts
  3. International Diploma in Pastry and Baking Arts

Study Modes

  • Full Time Programme: 12 months of Institutional Training followed by a 6-month Industrial Attachment
    Fees: Up to 50% of the course fee is subsidised*
  • Apprenticeship Programme:  3 months of full-time Institutional Training followed by a 15-month-long hybrid curriculum that mixes part-time institutional training with a part-time apprenticeship at a partnered hotel
    Fees: 100% of the course fee is subsidised*
    *Terms and conditions apply.

Students who choose to work while studying will find SHATEC’s Apprenticeship programme to be a much-welcomed option. “In fact, our first-of-its-kind Apprenticeship scheme is more intuitive given the nature of our On-the-Job-Training (OJT) modality. Our apprentices can immediately apply theoretical concepts taught in our classrooms in a charged professional setting and see their lessons come to life in real-time. That way, the experience becomes way more dynamic,” Mr Lim adds. 

The added financial incentive with the subsidised courses will prove especially useful for learners who must support their families as well.

Passion drives ambition

Like most of his students, Mr Lim first started out as a hotel worker who eventually worked his way up to key leadership positions at some of the world’s biggest hotel brands. That meant opportunities for him to work abroad, in countries like China, Thailand and the USA. “Hospitality as a professional career is incredibly compelling and varied, as it encompasses a myriad of roles, from F&B to housekeeping, from front desk service operations to events management,” he shares. 

And the industry’s day-to-day is never the same.  “I have had to navigate several global major crises that had far-reaching repercussions on tourism, such as the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, 9/11 and most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic,” he highlighted as he reflected on his time in the field. Working in the service industry can be different from a 9 to 5 job, but as Mr Lim has experienced first-hand, this challenge will present opportunities for novel experiences, unforgettable memories, and invaluable insights. 

Promising progression and development

With tourism progressively recovering on both local and international fronts, Mr Lim is confident that the hospitality and culinary sectors will only continue to flourish and grow. Regarding wages, he observes that “we have seen industry-wide increments in wages. Hospitality industry staff can finally see their work rewarded with excellent remuneration packages and continuous upskilling.” Opportunities for personal growth are plenty, as the field offers a unique chance to work with people across the globe. There is the opportunity to learn from other cultures, with new ideas, connections and cuisines to tap into. 

And it is this brimming potential of the industry that allows SHATEC’s internship attachments to be so rewarding. Through a robust support system, it encourages students to document and discuss their professional aspirations and experiences with their classmates so as to broaden their perspectives through shared insights. This is in addition to networking events and workshops intended to link up young talents with industry veterans. 

Ultimately, Mr Lim believes that SHATEC is the choice platform for young talents to venture into Singapore’s hotel industry. Proud of a forward-looking curriculum that is always a step ahead of the industry’s trends and developments, this passionate educator firmly stands by SHATEC as a stepping stone for young talents to transform Singapore’s hospitality scene. 

Hear what our previous SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme awardees have to say about their sponsorship.

The invaluable first step

(L-R) Kelvin Tan (in green glasses) having fun with his hotel colleagues, Kelvin (second from left) in another workplace photo.

Alumni Kelvin Tan can best attest to this. A student who was pursuing a full-time Diploma in Hotel Management from 2007 to 2010, he reminisces about his internship days at the Conrad Centennial Singapore hotel, as well as SHATEC’s close-knit community that is bound by shared dreams, hopes and ambitions. Currently a Front Office Manager for Riverside Hotel at Robertson Quay, he is full of praise for his time at SHATEC. “From day one, I was immersed in a diverse and vibrant environment that encouraged creativity, teamwork, and a strong work ethic,” he says. He credits his lecturers for his current success, having equipped him with effective competencies that have allowed him to thrive in his professional pursuits. 

No more barriers to entry for NSmen learners

The partnership between SAFRA and SHATEC will prove to be exceptionally timely for NSmen eager to pursue a career in the fields of hospitality, food services and tourism. SHATEC is reputed for its world-class pedagogy and wide-ranging industrial connections. Aspiring students will gain rich professional insights imparted by seasoned instructors, mentors and invited guest speakers. This is in addition to real-life attachments to industry conglomerates and extensive case studies. 

SHATEC is committed to providing NSmen with integrated educational opportunities to penetrate and potentially transform the hospitality and tourism industry. By removing the financial strain that typically comes with pursuing higher education, SAFRA aims to empower NSmen learners and fast-track their careers in hospitality and other fields through its bond-free and subsidised courses. 

Find out more about SAFRA and SHATEC’s bond-free subsidised diploma courses at safra.sg/bond-free-education-scheme

Save more with SAFRA! Enjoy special deals and discounts on dining, shopping, entertainment, travel, fitness and more from over 1,500 merchant outlets islandwide. Sign up or renew your SAFRA membership for three years at the price of 1 year ($43.20 inclusive of GST)! Plus, get your spouse and children on board to enjoy the same privileges too – 1st dependent pays $5.40/year, and it’s free for the 2nd dependent onwards. Visit safra.sg/savemore for more details. 

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