Choose from over 50 courses in PA's DIY Series

Mr Lim explains some basic hair trimming techniques to Madam Ong Mok Lian, 64. He had picked up his skills at a barbering course offered as part of the People's Association DIY Series.
Mr Lim explains some basic hair trimming techniques to Madam Ong Mok Lian, 64. He had picked up his skills at a barbering course offered as part of the People's Association DIY Series.PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

From barbering to car maintenance, and door repair to jewellery making, Singapore residents can now choose from more than 50 courses in the People's Association (PA) DIY Series.

"These courses allow you to learn skills that are useful for yourself and also for the community where we live," said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

"Some of these things start off as a hobby, but a hobby can even end up as a career," he added. Mr Shanmugaratnam was speaking at the launch at the PA SkillsFuture Marketplace in Jurong yesterday.

Mr Janson Lim, 40, wanted to learn haircutting after volunteering a few years ago to trim the hair of needy residents in his community.

The engineer got the chance to do so when he enrolled in the course, SkillsFuture@PA Men's Modern Barbering.

"The main reason for my taking the haircutting course was to do volunteer work, which I'm happy to embark on now," he said.

The national drive to promote lifelong learning was also evident at the launch of the food and beverage career awareness programme at the Umar Pulavar Tamil Language Centre in Beatty Road yesterday.

The programme, which aims to help Singapore Indian Development Association (Sinda) members find jobs in Indian restaurants, combines classes at the Asian Culinary Institute (ACI) and practical training in restaurants.

"Skills are not something that you can simply open a textbook and understand; you need to really know the business, the supply and demand and the landscape in which you operate," said Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah, who was at the launch.

The collaboration between Sinda, ACI, the Indian Restaurants Association Singapore and the Workforce Development Agency will see up to 90 per cent of course fees subsidised for participants.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 03, 2016, with the headline 'Choose from over 50 courses in PA's DIY Series'. Print Edition | Subscribe