New SkillsFuture course to groom designers for the furniture industry

Nanyang Polytechnic's Edward Ho and Ms Low Yen Ling, with Teo Min Zhen, a recent graduate from Nanyang Polytechnic’s Diploma in Industrial Design.
Nanyang Polytechnic's Edward Ho and Ms Low Yen Ling, with Teo Min Zhen, a recent graduate from Nanyang Polytechnic’s Diploma in Industrial Design. PHOTO: NANYANG POLYTECHNIC

SINGAPORE - Polytechnic graduates with an interest in contributing to the furniture and furnishings industry can look forward to gaining a headstart in their careers with a new SkillsFuture course.

The new Specialist Diploma in Design & Make, launched on Monday (June 5), is open for applications. The 300-hour course involves a mix of classroom learning and on-the-job training. Topics covered include studies in lifestyle objects and furnishing, problem-solving using a design-centric approach, and the latest production methods.

Co-developed by the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC) and Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) under the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme (ELP), this course marks the first time a trade association and a polytechnic are delivering an ELP together.

There are already 10 companies participating in the programme, including Grandwork Interior, a furniture design and manufacturing firm.

At the launch on Monday at the firm's premises along Sungei Kadut Street 3, Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Trade and Industry said that the furniture industry is transforming to move up the value chain, which requires the deepening of skill sets for those in the industry.

"Your active participation will grow and strengthen the Singapore core in our furniture design workforce, and contribute to more sustainable growth and value creation for our industry," said Ms Low, addressing the employers present.

The course is open to graduates with polytechnic diplomas in relevant design disciplines, such as industrial design. They will have to secure a full-time position in one of the partner companies before being accepted into the programme.

Mr Liu Kar Kit, assistant business development manager of Grandwork Interior, said the ELP allows companies to have a "targeted pool of talent" to tap.

Under the new course, participants will work at their companies and attend weekly lessons at the NYP School of Design. They will also attend two workshops held at the SFIC Institute before starting on-the-job training.

Ms Teo Min Zhen, 21, a diploma holder in industrial design, is one of 17 poly grads who has applied for the specialist diploma. "I'm excited to gain experience in the real world as it's very unlike simply doing projects in school and staying in the studio," she said.

Correction note: This story has been edited to correct the address of Grandwork Interior. We are sorry for the error.