Yellow Ribbon Culinary Competition 2022
- Singapore, 19 July 2022 – In partnership with the Singapore Chefs’ Association (SCA), Yellow Ribbon Project (YRP) held the Yellow Ribbon Culinary Competition (YRCC) 2022 from 18 May 2022 to 19 July 2022.
- The annual YRCC aims to equip inmates with skills and enhance their employability in the Food and Beverage (F&B) industry. It raises awareness on the work programmes in our prisons to support the reintegration of inmates into society, and provides a platform to strengthen the relationship between inmates and their families through food. For many of the inmates, this is the first time they are whipping up new recipes for their families.
Yellow Ribbon Culinary Competition 2022 – “A Taste of Home”
- The theme for YRCC 2022, “A Taste of Home”, was inspired by the addition of Hawker Culture to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2020. For the competition, inmates were asked to redefine local hawker food that reminded them of Singapore. They took the concept further by cooking food that also reminded them of their love for their family.
- YRCC 2022 saw applications from more than 100 inmates, among whom 40 were selected to participate in the Heats, with 10 eventually qualifying for the Final Cook-Off. At the end of the competition, the finalists were given the opportunity to eat their dishes together with their loved ones.
- This year also saw the introduction of a “People’s Choice Award”, where photos of the dishes were shared on social media to encourage members of the public and the community to vote for their favourite dish. This reinforces the importance of public awareness and community support in supporting the reintegration of ex-offenders.
- The Grand Finale was held today at The Changi Tearoom in Institution A3 of the Changi Prison Complex, and family members of the finalists were invited to celebrate the achievements of their loved ones and witness the announcement of results.
- Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development, graced the Grand Finale as Guest-of-Honour.
- In his opening address, Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim noted that support for inmates and ex-offenders can come from various sources, including employers, family, and friends, and these serve as strong motivators in their reintegration journey. He also highlighted that ex-offenders can become role models by inspiring others through their success.
Employment Opportunities for Ex-offenders After Their Release
- Helping ex-offenders prepare for, find, and hold on to their jobs is critical for their reintegration. It is also important to ensure that they are trained in relevant skills before their release, so as to open up more employment opportunities for them after their release. As an example, Yellow Ribbon Singapore (YRSG) offers the Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Higher Certificate in Food Services (Culinary Arts) to inmates who are keen to work in the F&B industry. YRSG also engages industry partners to provide skills training and prepare ex-offenders for the workplace through the Train and Place (TAP) & Grow programmes. Inmates can undergo industry-specific training in training academies within our prisons and secure jobs in the relevant sectors after their release. There will also be opportunities for further skills upgrading post release.
- YRSG launched TAP & Grow in the Precision Engineering sector in 2019. This was expanded to the Media sector in 2020, and then to the Logistics sector in 2021. About 650 inmates will benefit from TAP & Grow in these three sectors in 2022. To cater to the aspirations of more inmates, YRSG will launch TAP& Grow in the Food Services sector this year.
- Chairperson of YRCC Main Organising Committee, SUPT Luke Leong, 2 nd Superintendent of Institution B2, said, “The YRCC aims to inspire inmates to lead a healthy, crime-free lifestyle after their release, by opening new pathways for those with an interest and talent in the culinary arts. By involving inmates’ families and community partners, and celebrating the success of the participants together, we hope to help build up the self-confidence of the participants, strengthen their family bonds and grow their sense of belonging to the community. This will help in their reintegration back to society.”
- “It was my paternal grandmother who taught me how to cook the dish that I submitted for the competition. I am thankful that I am able to continue her legacy and honour her love for me. Through this chance, I also hope to show my family my commitment to change, and to never disappoint them again,” said ‘Harry’, one of the finalists of YRCC 2022.
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