The Furniture Industry Gets a Refreshed Career Conversion Programme

NTUC Deputy Secretary-General Desmond Tan stressed the importance of having an adaptive Singapore workforce that can pivot during changing times.
By Nicolette Yeo 02 Feb 2023

Furniture industry workers will now get help from a refreshed career conversion programme (CCP) to upgrade their skills to meet the challenges of an ever-evolving economy.

The initiative supports the furniture sector’s push to build a sustainable workforce as part of its 2025 roadmap to drive more sustainable urban living in the future.

The Career Conversion Programme for Furniture Industry Talents was launched at the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC) 2023 Lunar New Year Luncheon on 2 February 2023 by SFIC, SFIC Institute and Workforce Singapore (WSG).

SFIC Institute will manage the programme.

The programme aims to facilitate workers’ entry into the industry through a three-to-six-month on-job training focused on applied learning.

Both rank-and-file workers and executives will be trained on various skills, including internationalisation, logistics, supply chain management, design and business innovation.

The updated CCP also promises more personalised coaching and mentoring to help workers prepare for new job roles.

NTUC Deputy Secretary-General Desmond Tan graced the event as the guest of honour.

In his address, Mr Tan said that the programme would enable furniture businesses to train new workers and carry out job redesign and reskilling for existing employees.

He added that around 280 workers stand to benefit from the new CCP.

The event also saw SFIC announce a new partnership with the Institute of Technical Education to groom the next generation of furniture industry leaders.

The partnership was inked with a memorandum of understanding between both parties.

Under the agreement, students could have a smoother transition into the industry with experiential learning through internships and hands-on training.

To meet future challenges, Mr Tan also emphasised the need for Singapore to have an adaptive workforce that is flexible enough to pivot during changing times.

He said: “It is encouraging to see trade associations like SFIC and its Institute prioritising the right skilling of its industry fellows.

“The Singapore Government and the NTUC will continue to partner with SFIC and other trade associations to prepare their respective industries and people to become adept and ready for the future.”

Mr Tan also participated in a dialogue called Security in Uncertainty: Right-Skill for the Future. The discussion was held with key industry leaders to discuss Singapore’s steps towards innovative manpower solutions and how to create a sustainable workforce for the furniture industry.

SFIC Partners e2i

At the event, Mr Tan mentioned SFIC’s talent development partnerships with NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute).

Both parties will roll out a new programme allowing professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) to develop innovative and practical solutions to address business sustainability needs.

e2i and the furniture council also have an existing Place and Train programme for Matured Workers that has benefited 50 workers.

NTUC Initiatives for Furniture Businesses

Mr Tan also took the opportunity to share NTUC’s current initiatives that could benefit SFIC and furniture businesses.

He called on them to develop a Company Training Committee (CTC) with NTUC and tap on the NTUC CTC Grant to transform and grow their business, redesign jobs, and rally workers to upskill and reskill.

Mr Tan also highlighted the Labour Movement’s #EveryWorkerMatters conversations initiative. He shared that workers planning to join the workforce today look at factors beyond wages and work prospects.

He cited other factors such as work-life harmony and flexible work arrangements to fulfil personal commitments.

To attract younger workers, Mr Tan urged furniture firms to adopt Tripartite Standards that promote initiatives like flexible work arrangements.