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Moving to a Career in the Agri-tech Sector in Singapore

Workforce Singapore (WSG), Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and Republic Polytechnic (RP) have launched the Career Conversion Programme (CCP) for the Agri-tech Sector, the first programme for the sector. Benefitting 100 individuals over two years, the CCP would attract and build a local talent pipeline to complement the Singapore Green Plan and “30 by 30” goal to build capability and capacity to produce 30% of Singapore’s nutritional needs locally by 2030.

The agri-food sector is an exciting new field in Singapore. As Singapore works towards achieving the “30 by 30” goal, higher-value jobs will be created in the high-tech agriculture industry in the longer term.  By 2030, it is projected that about 4,700 new and redesigned jobs would be created. Of these, about 70% of the jobs are expected to be filled by skilled workers and Professional, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs). The future workforce will require a good understanding of urban food production and multi-disciplinary expertise in science, engineering, and info-communications.

To build capabilities in the future Agri-tech workforce, it is timely for WSG to introduce the CCP for Agri-tech now to help Singaporeans secure jobs in this growth sector, which offers diverse career opportunities. We are happy to partner SFA and RP in this programme to ensure that the Agri-tech sector is supported by a strong Singaporean core.

– Tan Choon Shian, Chief Executive, WSG

To plug the demand for the skills gap, the CCP, therefore, provides an alternative pathway for companies to meet the increasing manpower demands by reskilling mid-career individuals, who possess transferable skillsets, with the relevant knowledge and skills.

There are two pathways for the programme. PMETs will undergo six months of structured class training on top of On-the-Job training and will enter the programme as an Agri-tech Specialist, whose job roles includes farm manager/engineers/technologists, produce specialists, crop scientists and agronomists. An Agri-tech Operator, on the other hand, will undergo three months of training and will include job roles such as supervisors, farm technicians and operations executives.

Some of the modules which individuals will go through include Sustainable Agriculture: Clean and Green Standard for Urban Farms, Plant Factories with Artificial Lighting and Smart Farming Technologies, which will equip participants with the knowledge of cleaner and sustainable farming practices, integration of technology such as Internet-of-Things to enable precision farming and designing indoor vertical farming with technologies.

With Singapore working towards its ‘30 by 30’ goal, this is a timely programme and one which will be welcomed by the agri-food industry as our future high-tech farms would require a workforce with multi-disciplinary expertise in science, engineering, and info-communications.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, agri-tech is more crucial than ever in agriculture during this COVID-19 times. It is a growing industry that employs modern technologies to increase production yield, improve food quality, and promote sustainability in the agri-food value chain.

The NUS Agritech Centre is one of Singapore Science Park’s latest innovation and incubation facilities, powered by NUS Enterprise. The NUS Agritech Centre, housed in the Cavendish building, is a one-of-a-kind fusion of art and technology – a sandpit for researchers, entrepreneurs, and visionaries to present challenges, experiments, and market-based solutions in agriculture.

The establishment of this centre is consistent with Singapore’s “30 by 30” goal of producing 30% of the population’s nutritional needs locally by 2030. The centre is designed to support start-ups from growth to post-harvest, building capabilities in serving up urban farming food options from lab to table.

The centre is one of the first in NUS to offer such specialised support for agri-tech start-ups, employing cutting-edge tools and controls to create an optimised infrastructure and environment for urban farming innovation and production.


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