Buffet of skills for Choa Chu Kang residents to pick up

Volunteers at South West Community Development Council's SkillsFuture Festival yesterday showing members of the public how to do handy repairs such as fixing the plumbing of a sink.
Volunteers at South West Community Development Council's SkillsFuture Festival yesterday showing members of the public how to do handy repairs such as fixing the plumbing of a sink. ST PHOTOS: LEE JIA WEN
Volunteers at South West Community Development Council's SkillsFuture Festival yesterday showing members of the public how to do handy repairs such as fixing the plumbing of a sink. South West District Mayor Low Yen Ling (far left) and Minister of St
A volunteer at a booth showcasing flower arrangements teaching residents to create their own bouquets.ST PHOTOS: LEE JIA WEN
Volunteers at South West Community Development Council's SkillsFuture Festival yesterday showing members of the public how to do handy repairs such as fixing the plumbing of a sink. South West District Mayor Low Yen Ling (far left) and Minister of St
South West District Mayor Low Yen Ling (far left) and Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Zaqy Mohamad (centre) trying their hand at fruit carving at a booth set up by Shatec at the SkillsFuture Festival.ST PHOTOS: LEE JIA WEN

Choa Chu Kang residents spent yesterday learning skills such as sports massage, infant care, flower arranging and plumbing.

These were some of the booths set up at Keat Hong Community Club, as part of South West Community Development Council's (CDC) first SkillsFuture Festival.

This heartland-based festival aims to ignite residents' interest in vocational and practical skills either for personal use or employment.

More than 400 training and career opportunities were showcased at the festival, which was attended by over 900 people.

It was held by South West CDC, in collaboration with the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore.

Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Zaqy Mohamad said at its launch: "For a small country with no natural resources, our people are our greatest assets. Hence, equipping Singaporeans with better employment opportunities and enhancing their employability to stay ahead of the curve is always one of our top priorities."

Mr Zaqy added that on a personal level, learning a new skill brings about a sense of achievement and fulfilment, while on a professional level, continual skills upgrading ensures people remain relevant and employable.

Mr Gilbert Tan, chief executive officer of e2i, said: "We must constantly adapt and upgrade ourselves in terms of knowledge and skills to stay relevant in a fast-evolving environment. Vocational skills learning would then become not a want, but a need."

South West District Mayor Low Yen Ling added that she hopes this festival will encourage residents to learn, regardless of their age.

Local resident Shirley Chong, 59, who works in data entry, said: "I want to learn culinary skills both as a personal thing and as a potential job.

"At this age, I'm an older employee and I might not always be with my company. If I can bake or cook, I might be able to sell my products."

Sue-Ann Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 23, 2018, with the headline 'Buffet of skills for Choa Chu Kang residents to pick up'. Print Edition | Subscribe