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Agritech gets a boost in Singapore with launch of new training hub at Benoi

Agritech gets a boost in Singapore with launch of new training hub at Benoi

Through its Digital Agritech Operations Manager programme, the Agritech Lab @ Benoi aims to enrol 180 trainees, or green-collared workforce, by 2022.

With the intention of grooming a new generation of ‘green-collared workforce’ in Singapore, NTUC LearningHub (LHUB) has collaborated with training partner, Netatech, an urban farming company, to design the SG United Skills (SGUS) Digital Agritech Operations Manager programme that aims to benefit up to 180 trainees by 2022, and expand their career opportunities into the field of agritech. This initiative was announced during LHUB's launch of Agritech Lab @ Benoi, an agritech training space, on Thursday (16 September 2021).

Through the Digital Agritech Operations Manager programme, trainees will be equipped with in-demand skills and knowledge, such as urban farming & farm technology, quality standards & food safety, business planning, sales & marketing strategy, and e-commerce to optimise yield production and profitability in urban farming. With those in hand, graduated trainees will have career opportunities in roles like:

  • Agricultural economist
  • Agricultural engineer
  • Agri sales/business manager
  • Agronomist
  • Farm manager
  • Plant physiologist
  • Postharvest technologist
  • Quality control/food inspector

Today, there is a total of 119 trainees already enrolled in the pioneer cohort of the programme, as revealed during the event.

Throughout this six-month training programme, participating trainees will receive an allowance of up to S$1,200 per month until graduation. As it stands, the full programme fee is S$17,880, and S$500 after funding for eligible Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) through SGUnited Skills. Trainees can likewise utilise their SkillsFuture Credits to offset course fees after funding subsidies.

At the launch event, NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng said: 'With NTUC LearningHub’s new Agritech Lab @ Benoi, NTUC is excited to be supporting our nation’s efforts towards building Singapore’s food resilience through the government’s '30 by 30' goal of producing 30% of local produce by 2030. NTUC is committed towards ensuring workers remain employable through training and upskilling.

"We also want to expand their job prospects in sunrise industries where there is a growing labour demand, such as agritech. NTUC LearningHub is in a good position to facilitate training in agritech, and pave the way for workers of any age and background, be it young graduates or mid-career switchers, who are looking to venture into this budding industry."

David Tan, CEO and Founder, Netatech, also shared his thoughts: "Through training, we can give Singaporeans the opportunity to reinvent what a traditional farm looks like, and contribute to the sector by starting a career in agritech,”"

Eugene Wong, Chairman of NTUC LHUB added: “Beyond theory-based lessons, our new Agritech Lab @ Benoi will allow trainees to work on real-life projects and be fully immersed in the world of high-tech farming. At the same time, we are working closely with employers to assist our trainees with job placements in the industry."

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Image / NTUC (L-R: David Tan, CEO and Founder, Netatech; Ng Chee Meng, NTUC Secretary-General; Dr Michael Fung, Deputy Chief Executive SkillsFuture Singapore; viewing a showcase of agritech in the greenhouse at Agritech Lab @ Benoi)

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