Retired street vendors will soon be able to pass their professional skills on to non-family members


Today, it is more and more difficult for the younger generations to accept a job as a street vendor.

This poses a dilemma for existing distributors: who can they hand over their booth to if they decide to withdraw?

To preserve the culture of street vendors in Singapore, the National Environment Agency (NEA) announced today (November 24) a new system that will allow retired and unsubsidized street vendors to distribute their stalls to non-family members and not parents. .

These high profile street vendors are paired with newcomers for the ‘successor' so that their recipes and cooking skills can be passed on, and they can advise new street vendors on how best to run their stalls.

The pilot starts in the first quarter of 2021

This new program, proposed by a working group of 19 people composed mainly of street vendors and jointly led by Edward Chia, MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC and CEO of Timbre Group, will only be piloted in the first quarter of 2021..

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There are currently around 6,000 street vendors in 110 street vendor centers, and the national median age of street vendors is 59.

The previous rules stipulated that only some of them could allocate their booth to relatives and family members.

In addition, only rent-subsidized merchants, those who were moved from the streets in the early 1970s or assigned to posts under a previous state plan due to financial difficulties, were able to award their post to non-family members.

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Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and Environment Dr Amy Khor, commenting on the proposed program, said it will help address some of the main challenges facing the street vendor business.

“The idea is to facilitate the transfer of recipes, skills and practices that could be lost if the veteran leaves the scene without a successor,” he added.

Singapore is currently in the process of adding our traveling culture to Unesco's list of intangible cultural heritage.

If the application is successful, Singapore will have to submit a report to UNESCO every six years on its efforts to protect the culture of street vendors.

Selected image source: YP SG

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