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HR & EDUCATION | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore
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SFIC Institute's new training hub overhauls carpenters' career image

It’s the first carpentry training center in Singapore’s furniture industry.

Singapore Furniture Industries Council Institute or SFIC Institute recently launched its first Carpentry Training Center at Yishun Industrial Park. SFIC's new training center aims to attract and grow a pool of skilled local carpenters.

The new 4,500 sq. ft. center consists of two fully air-conditioned classrooms and a workshop equipped with an array of woodworking machinery and tools. It will be the new site for the Creative Craftsman Apprenticeship Programme which aims to train 180 Singaporeans through a six-month structured apprenticeship programme. The programme will help employers to redesign the job from “Carpenter” to “Creative Craftsman,” and putting in place a Progressive Wage Model for the profession.

According to Neo Sia Meng, Chairman of SFIC Institute, this project is a $3.5 million tripartite effort by SFIC Institute, National Trades Union Congress’ e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA). The project is also supported by the Polytechnic of Western Australia (PWA), Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC), and SPRING Singapore.

While Sia Meng claims that this is an ‘industry first’ in Singapore, the center had to find a way to develop a suitable curriculum that meets the needs of the local furniture industry and also face the high cost of setting up the Yishun campus.

Sia Meng explains that having explored various curricula from neighbouring countries, they find the curriculum from the Polytechnic of Western Australia (PWA) to be the most suitable as it is holistic and is recognised by the Australian government. SFIC Institute then worked closely with PWA and WDA to customise the modules to suit the the local industry. He further explains that the Yishun campus in Singapore needed to mirror the stringent criteria of PWA, yet has to conform to the local industry’s requirements. The high cost is defrayed with the strong support of related government agencies and sponsors.

“The SFIC Institute has a dedicated team who worked closely with the industry to source for a suitable programme, crafted the curriculum to suit the local industry, planned and set up the facility. We have experienced trainers and we conduct job fairs and recruitment exercises to match job seekers to potential employers. The accomplishment we have today is through the strong tripartite effort and industry support, and the contributions of a dedicated team at SFIC Institute,” said Sia Meng.

Anyone who successfully completed the programme shall receive SFIC Institute’s Apprentice Certificate in Creative Craftsmanship; WDA’s WSQ Certified Operations Specialist; and PWA’s Record of Result and Certificate of Participation.
 

Check out photos during its launching. 

Click Here to see slideshow

SFIC Institute's new training hub overhauls carpenters' career image

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