One day after lunching with two old friends at the Domvs Italian restaurant in Sheraton Hotel last week and encountering language difficulty with its service staff, I was pleasantly surprised by a newspaper reporting that bosses in the hotel, retail and food and beverage trade are sending their foreign workers for English classes.
I hope these employers are doing it because they realise that their staff need to improve their linguistic skills and not because doing so would help them save on their foreign worker levy bills.
Our experience with the Domvs waitress -- a young Chinese national -- convinced me that many employers are still not placing sufficient attention to training.
In her case, she was not only poor in her spoken English but also in product knowledge.
For example, my friend Walter asked her what the soup of the day was. She took a few seconds to register, then, realising that she did not have the answer, replied that she would go to the kitchen to check.
If a fairly upmarket restaurant like Domvs has to depend on lowly-trained service staff, I am sure that service at many other food outlets that are also dependent on such foreign workers cannot be any better.