SINGAPORE - Choa Chu Kang residents spent Sunday (July 22) learning skills such as sports massage, infant care, flower arranging and plumbing.
These were some of the booths set up at Keat Hong Community Centre, as part of South West Community Development Council (CDC)'s 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 an estimated 800 people.
It was held by South West CDC, in collaboration with the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore (WSG).
Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Mr Zaqy Mohamad said at its launch: "For a small country with no natural resources; our people are our greatest asset and resource. Hence, equipping Singaporeans with better employment opportunities and enhancing their employability to stay ahead of the curve is always one of our top priorities."
He added that on a personal level, learning a new skill brings about a sense of achievement and fulfilment, while on a professional level, continuous skills upgrading ensures people remain relevant and employable.
Mr Gilbert Tan, chief executive 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."
Mayor of South West district Low Yen Ling added that she hopes this festival will encourage residents to learn, regardless of their age.
Local resident Ms 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."
Homemaker Jenny Lai, 47, was also looking at the culinary booth. She said: "I do have interests but I don't know where to learn these skills. This festival gives residents exposure to new skills they can learn."