SINGAPORE - Aspiring carpenters now have a new training ground, as the furniture industry's first carpentry training centre was officially opened on Tuesday.
The 4,500 sq foot (418 sq m) campus in Yishun Industrial Park was opened by the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC) Institute and the National Trades Union Congress' Employment and Employability Institute. It comes with two classrooms and eight workstations that can be used by 32 people at a time.
The facility, approved by the Polytechnic of Western Australia, is part of the Creative Craftsman Apprenticeship Programme that was introduced in February to promote the carpentry trade among locals.
The first cohort of 18 trainees also received certificates on Tuesday for completing six-months of carpentry training. An estimated 180 Singaporeans are expected to undergo the place-and-train programme at the campus over the next one and a half years.
Chairman of the SFIC Institute Neo Sia Meng noted that the local industry is made up mostly of foreigners, and that Singapore faces a shortage of skilled local carpenters.
He said: "By providing a conducive learning environment and comprehensive education at the (campus), we hope to introduce more young Singaporeans to the art of furniture craftsmanship."
Labour Chief Lim Swee Say, who was also at the opening, said that the new campus and programme is one way to rejuvenate traditional trades such as carpentry, and to match better jobs with better workers.