SFIC Institute (SFICI) celebrates 10th anniversary with new Smarter Programmes to nurture new capabilities for a “Smarter E-economy”

SINGAPORE – November 1, 2019

To mark its 10th anniversary today, SFIC Institute (SFICI), the training and talent development subsidiary of the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC), has announced new initiatives to help SMEs – including bosses and senior management – acquire new skills and knowledge to adapt to the fast-changing business landscape in the digitalised global economy.

The internet economy is growing at significant speed undaunted by the challenges from trade disputes among some of the world’s most powerful countries.

Southeast Asia’s internet economy is forecast to reach US$300 billion by 2025 as millions of people in the region take to online shopping and embrace digital transactions at accelerated pace.

The online industry is expected to grow by 200 per cent over the next five years from an estimated US$100 billion this year, according to the report by Google, Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings and global business consultants Bain & Company.*

What’s more – the Internet economy is set to create 1.7 million full-time jobs in Southeast Asia by 2025, three times the number in 2018.

In the light of these trends, SFICI has taken bold new steps to transform to help its members as well as other SMEs – arm themselves with the right skillsets and knowledge to take advantage of the internet economy’s enormous growth potential. SFICI will introduce new courses to train talent to take up the vast plethora of new careers in the digital age. 

New capabilities and solutions for the new economy

Said Mr Steven Chew, Chairman of SFICI, “The Institute has achieved much in the past decade.  As the training and skills development arm of SFIC, we have successfully trained over 3,000 participants to cater to the evolving needs of the furniture and furnishings industry todate. For our Place & Train programmes, we have matched 100 craftsmen to 62 employers, 150 designers to 84 employers and 47 matured workers to 38 employers.”

“Today, as we continue to evolve, we need to tune ourselves to have a growth mindset. SFICI has to be “smarter” and come up with new strategies and courses to help our SMEs and our people become “smarter”, regardless of age, so that they can capitalise on new growth opportunities and take on new jobs which will be created to cope with the projected growth in e-commerce, logistics, as well as a whole lot of digital services needed in our digitalised world.

We must introduce new initiatives to sharpen leadership innovation and digital capabilities of SMEs so that they can exploit and gain from the internet tsunami and not succumb to the challenges of technological disruptions.”

Added Mr Chew, “SFICI will be a human capital solutions provider with an enlarged scope – offering development courses and digital courses for a wide spectrum of industries beyond just the furniture industry. Working with global and local partners, SFICI’s educational model will combine academic knowledge with applied experiential training, for a holistic learning system to better equip SMEs and their management teams with the skills and mindset to cope with the new market and industry challenges.”

Executive skills and leadership programmes for industry professionals

SFICI plans to launch a series of business and digital courses over the coming months. One of them is its maiden collaboration with Singapore Polytechnic to launch an Executive Masterclass on Contract Claims, Variations and Disputes for Built Environment. Targeted at business owners and senior management, the one-day masterclass will enable the senior management executives to gain in-depth knowledge on contractual issues arising from the tender process as well as during execution, to protect commercial outcomes.

Witnessing the signing of the MOU between Mr Jake Tan, Vice Chairman of SFICI and Mr Yip Hin Wah, Deputy Director of PACE Academy of Singapore Polytechnic is Guest of Honour, Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and SFIC Patron; Mr Mark Yong, SFIC President  as well as Mr Hee Joh Liang, Deputy Principal of Singapore Polytechnic.

The MOU signing ceremony was held at the Trade Association Hub at Jurong Town Hall.

Ms Sim was also there to present certificates of participation to the first batch of ASEAN Business Leadership Programme (ABLP) participants.

Supported by the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG), the ABLP, offered in collaboration with the London School of

Economics and Political Science (LSE), was a one-week leadership transformation programme  for 15 local and ASEAN business owners and senior management  from 29 September – 5 October 2019.

Companies that have participated in the inaugural ABLP include:

Admira Pte Ltd, JC Packers Pte Ltd, Star Furniture Pte Ltd, NextofKin Creatives Pte Ltd, Falcon Incorporation Pte Ltd, VYY Pte Ltd, IDV Concepts Asia Pte Ltd, Archipedia Pte Ltd,  Minh Duong Furniture Corporation from Vietnam and Dongguan Artpeak Industrial Company Limited from China.

SFICI also unveiled its revamped website at its 10th anniversary event. The website will be a user-friendly interactive portal to serve as a one-stop resource for training and skills development needs of SFIC members as well as other SMEs.

More information on SFICI and its courses can be found on https://www.sficinstitute.com/

* Source: “Southeast Asia’s Internet Economy to hit US$100 billion this year: Report” [https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/southeast-asia-internet-economy-online-shopping-temasek-google-11965610]

+ Source: “Internet Economy to create 1.7 million full-time jobs by 2025 : Study [Source: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/technology/internet-economy-to-create-1-7-million-full-time-jobs-in-10946012]

About SFIC Institute (SFICI)

SFIC Institute, a subsidiary of the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC), was initially formed as a training and development initiative for the furniture industry in 2004. Privatised in October 2010, SFIC Institute is now a human capital solutions provider to serve the needs of a rapidly evolving workplace environment.

The Institute offers a holistic range of courses comprising retail, human resources, sales and marketing, production technology, customised programmes and consultancy services, logistics, and green initiatives for a wide spectrum of industries.

About SFIC

Singapore Furniture Industries Council was established in 1981 as the official representative body of Singapore’s furniture and furnishings industry. Its membership comprises furniture manufacturers, interior fit-out specialists, retailers, designers, as well as furnishings and materials suppliers. Currently, the council represents 95% of established furniture manufacturers in Singapore, of whom 65% have subsidiary manufacturing plants in various countries across the region, including China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

SFIC’s primary role is to promote the interests of its members and of the Singapore furniture and furnishings industry.

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Philip Pang philip@singaporefurniture.com