SINGAPORE – 2 June 2021 –

SFIC Institute, , the training and skills development arm of Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC), today unveiled its latest Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) in collaboration with Workforce Singapore (WSG) to nurture a new generation of talents for advanced manufacturing opportunities in the furniture and built environment sectors.

The PCP for Interior Fit-Out Specialist aims to nurture a pool of highly skilled local specialists to provide project management and interior fit-out services such as customising and installing furniture on-site at commercial projects like hotels, offices and retail stores as well as private and public residential projects. This new training programme is expected to meet growing demands of the domestic interior fit-out business segment in the residential, office and retail sectors valued by SFIC at approximately $3 billion a year, and aims to place 70 trainees over two years with the first batch by July 2021.

Currently, the role of an installer is to assist in residential and commercial installation projects, by ensuring that the area is prepared before the actual installation, fitting out the cabinets and wardrobe. The Interior Fit-out Specialist role will be an enhancement to the job role of an Installer. This role would entail performing higher value tasks like client and project management, onsite supervisory, providing advisory on design and materials selection, as
well as interpreting design works and translating them into production. These participants will also acquire knowledge in new construction technology, use advance construction methods in furniture making, which include CNC machines and Edge Bending Machines.

With access to a targeted database of more than 350 manufacturers, retailers as well as partnerships with the associations in the furniture industry, SFIC Institute aims to do a close matching for jobseekers with hiring employers.

Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of National Development and SFIC Patron, said: “The furniture and furnishings industry has been impacted by the ongoing pandemic, with the fit-out sector facing a lack of skilled manpower resources. By retraining and upskilling our local talent with specific skillsets in interior fit-out, enterprises can build a pipeline of specialists who can support their growth aspirations. I encourage our furniture companies to participate actively in this PCP led and facilitated by SFIC Institute. This is a positive step towards transforming the fit-out industry and making it a more attractive career option for the younger generation.”

Endorsing the new initiative, 10 Singapore companies together with SFIC Institute have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to take on new hires of the programme. [See Appendix A for details]

WSG Chief Executive Mr Tan Choon Shian said, “Technology has accelerated the business transformation of this traditionally labour-intensive sector. Companies are using the opportunity to plug the manpower gap by offering better career opportunities. This PCP allows the next generation of installers to take on higher value roles in using advanced technology, and skillsets in client and project management . We appreciate the strong collaboration with our tripartite partners to help our workers with meaningful careers in the industry.”

SFIC President Mr Phua Boon Huat said: “The furniture industry has progressed from warm sawdust-filled woodworking environments to one that embraces automation and digitalisation. SFIC has been helping local players ride the digital wave and sharpen their overall competitiveness across all segments of their supply chain. Today’s move is another step further towards injecting greater automation and expertise at the installation point of the supply chain. The programme is aligned with SFIC’s industry roadmap to establish Singapore as the Asian Hub influencing tomorrow’s sustainable urban living.”

SFIC Institute Chairman Mr Steven Chew said: “This latest PCP initiative will be part of an existing suite of holistic training and manpower programmes where companies can tap on to upskill their staff and help in their business transformations. Through tripartite efforts, SFIC Institute has received exceptional support from industry players and will continue working closely with them

For more information, please contact:

Casuarina Peck
Tranz Communications Manager
9363 5609

Wendy Chua
Media Relations, Workforce Singapore
9829 2599

Joseph Rajendran
Tranz Communications
9228 7801

Philip Pang
Head, Digital & Marcoms, SFIC
9797 7705