Hydroponic farming anyone?

Hydroponic farming anyone?

They sound fun on paper.

But are some of the more unique classes offered under the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) course directory relevant in real life?

The SkillsFuture scheme, which was first introduced by the Government last year, aims to allow citizens to develop themselves by attending such work-skills related courses.

It offers a starting cash credit of $500, and will be rolled out next year for Singaporeans aged 25 and above. These credits can be used to pay for courses offered by the WDA.

Mr Alfred Ang, the director of Tertiary Infotech, a company that provides training courses and workshops, one of which is on basic hydroponics, believes these courses may be specific, but they can still be relevant.

The 47-year-old told The New Paper: "Hydroponics has been around since 30 to 40 years ago, but it was only in the past two to three years that the technology had been used for farming.

"Things are changing, land is more scarce, we have climate issues and the younger generation may be less keen to work in a farm. These factors drive hydroponics to be the preferred form of farming."

Mr Ang added that the course, which is held once every two months, is popular among hobbyists and people with farming backgrounds.

SPECIALISED

Miss Lyne Ong, 45, senior sales and marketing manager at the Textile and Fashion Industry Training Centre (TaF.tc), which offers courses on footwear and clothing design and development, said: "In the industry, each staff member may be specialised in a different skill, so they may or may not have gone through other specific aspects."

One of the courses offered by TaF.tc takes participants from designing a shoe to producing the final product, which she said provides a holistic view of the industry.

Miss Ong added: "For shoe designers, it will be important to know about the construction of the shoe and the constraints they face."

We take a look at 10 offerings under WDA that may pique your interest.

1) BASIC HYDROPONICS COURSE

Cost: $198

Duration: Seven hours

For budding hydroponic gardeners and business owners thinking of venturing into the industry, this course teaches the concept of soil-less culturing, its application in hydroponics, and discusses the concerns business owners may have in starting a hydroponics farm. Participants can also try their hand at hydroponic gardening with a start-up kit provided.

2) DREAMWEAVER CC - WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT

Cost: $480

Duration: Two days

Starting a website for your company? This course teaches participants how to use Adobe Dreamweaver CC to create and upload a website. It also provides them with techniques to manage the sites created and to utilise animated files, images and videos to produce a seamless and well-managed website.

3) ACROBAT 11 - CREATING INTERACTIVE E-PORTFOLIOS

Cost: $280

Duration: One day

Applying for a job involves an impressive portfolio. In this course, participants learn to incorporate different forms of media into a single, visually appealing PDF file. Moreover, it allows participants to insert links that initiate actions in the document, adding an interactive touch to the portfolio.

4) WSQ BAKE ARTISAN BREAD

Cost: $218.40

Duration: 34 hours

For those looking to enter the food and beverage (F&B) industry or are bakers who want to broaden their skills, this course teaches participants how to assemble and prepare the ingredients to bake artisan breads.

5) WSQ FABRICATE CHOCOLATE DECORATIONS

Cost: $218.40

Duration: 22 hours

For those in F&B, this course teaches participants techniques like chocolate tempering, moulding and piping. It also guides them in how to assemble chocolate decorations.

6) DESIGN RESTAURANT CONCEPTS

Cost: $321

Duration: 20 hours

What makes a restaurant successful? From menus to outlet locations, this course helps participants identify the different types of restaurant concepts and the operational characteristics behind each type.

7) WSQ CREATE INTERMEDIATE FOOTWEAR PATTERNS

Cost: $450

Duration: 32 hours

For those in the footwear industry, this course teaches participants pattern-making for men's and women's fancy shoes. Each stage of pattern-making is covered, from preparing the mould for constructing the shape of the shoe to making the measurements.

8) WSQ DEVELOP APPAREL PATTERNS THROUGH DRAFTING AND SEW BASIC TOPS AND SKIRT

Cost: $120

Duration: 44 hours

From designers to quality control inspectors, this course guides participants through the basics of drafting patterns for skirts and tops, sewing techniques for certain fabrics and how to produce the finished products of a top and a skirt.

9) WSQ PREPARE HOT & COLD DESSERTS

Cost: $34.13

Duration: 34 hours

It teaches the basics in preparing high-end desserts like souffles, creme brulee and parfaits, as well as the factors that affect product quality.

10) WSQ PREPARE CHOUX PASTRIES

Cost:$27.30

Duration: 26 hours

Apart from teaching participants how to make good choux pastry, it focuses on the different elements needed to produce choux pastry products, the characteristics of these items, and standard hygiene and food safety practices

heatherh@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Mar 20, 2015.
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