First apprenticeship programme to place and train Singaporeans as Creative Craftsmen

Tripartite partners set aside $3.5 million to transform furniture industry through job redesign

The SFIC Institute, National Trades Union Congress’ e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and The Polytechnic of Western Australia (PWA), with the support from the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC), today jointly launched a comprehensive apprenticeship programme to develop a pool of skilled local carpenters for the Singapore furniture industry.

Known as the Creative Craftsman Apprenticeship Programme, $3.5 million has been set aside to place and train 180 Singaporeans through a six-month structured apprenticeship programme. By helping employers to redesign the job from “Carpenter” to “Creative Craftsman” and putting in place a Progressive Wage Model for this profession, the apprenticeship programme aims to attract and grow a pool of local skilled workforce.

A total of seventeen employers have signed up to participate in this apprenticeship programme. They are mainly hospitality contract furniture manufacturers. The companies include Arthur Zaaro, Cathay Interiors, Cheng Meng, Complexart, Danovel, Design Studio, DHdecor, Ewins, Facility Link, Home Fix, J-Plan, Kitchen & Kitchen, Mu-dian, Serrano, Sitra, Sunray Woodcraft Construction and Yang Ah Kang & Sons.

“As an institute supporting the Singapore furniture industry, we are proud to mark our 4th year of operations with this landmark partnership,” says Mr Neo Sia Meng, the Vice President of SFIC and Chairman of SFIC Institute. “We have received exceptional support from our partners, designers, and manufacturers and will continue working closely with them to facilitate the training and mentorship of potential craftsmen in Singapore. Through this tripartite effort, we hope to see more interested Singaporeans come forward to find out more about this incredibly fulfilling career path, allowing the local furniture industry to grow from strength to strength.”

Mr Gilbert Tan, CEO of e2i, said, “e2i is committed to create better jobs and better lives for workers in Singapore. Through the Creative Craftsman Apprenticeship Programme, local workers interested in Carpentry will now have opportunities for sustained career and wage progression based on their skill levels and work experience. This new initiative will also support the furniture industry to continue to have a competitive presence in Singapore.”

Mr Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive of WDA, said, “WDA’s partnership with e2i and SFIC Institute to launch the Creative Craftsman Apprenticeship Programme is a first for the furniture industry. This programme will equip Singaporeans with the skills to become qualified craftsman and help them find gainful employment in the furniture industry. With job redesign and their involvement in training apprentices, employers will be able to meet their manpower needs. We urge individuals with a keen interest in this trade to seize this opportunity."

The Creative Craftsman Apprenticeship Programme is designed for Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents who wish to pursue a career in the furniture industry. Eligible candidates are matched with participating employers and trainees will be paid a recommended starting salary of $1,500 per month during the six-month structured apprenticeship programme. The syllabus comprises a 12-day induction programme and a 10-week carpentry skills workshop interspersed with on-the-job training and mentorship sessions with their new employers, to ensure a seamless eventual transition to the workforce.

Upon successful completion of the programme, participants will receive

  • SFIC Institute’s Apprentice Certificate in Creative Craftsmanship;
  • WDA’s WSQ Certified Operations Specialist; and
  • PWA’s Record of Result and Certificate of Participation.

The trainee’s course fees and salaries will be fully borne by the employers, with funding support from e2i and WDA to encourage employers to hire more locals.

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Creative Craftsman Apprenticeship Programme