WDA kicks off footwear design diploma programme

SINGAPORE — In a bid to be at heels with the growing regional footwear market, the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) today (Jan 8) unveiled the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Diploma in Fashion Technology (Footwear Design & Product Development).

The WSQ diploma is the country’s first-ever skills upgrading course targeted at local Professionals, Managers and Executives (PMEs) who are keen to pursue a career in footwear design and development.

In a press statement, WDA said that the three-month full-time diploma “is designed to impart knowledge and skills across the entire footwear development value chain”.

“Local PMEs who undergo the WSQ diploma will acquire critical know-how to perform high value-add tasks such as design, sourcing, costing, pattern making, fitting and footwear brand development,” it added.

“They will also learn the finer points of creating and developing high-quality footwear collections that can be efficiently produced and commercially viable.”

Mr Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive of WDA, said that the new diploma programme will help prepare Singapore for the emerging Asia Pacific footwear market.

“Based on market reports, Singapore is well-positioned to tap on the strong growth potential of the footwear market in the Asia Pacific region. Hence, it is important to develop a strong pipeline of local PMEs with the knowledge and skills to support the continued growth of the local footwear industry,” Mr Ng said.

A total of S$2 million has been set aside by the WDA to fund the training of 450 local PMEs under the WSQ Diploma in Fashion Technology (Footwear Design & Product Development) from September last year to December this year.

The course will be held at the Textile and Fashion Industry Training Centre (TaFtc) and conducted by trainers from Ars Sutoria, the elite Italian International Technical Institute of Art for Footwear and Leather Goods based in Milan, Italy.

Potential students may also enrol in the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Textile and Fashion Professionals and the Global Fashion Talent Programme (GFTP) for the footwear sector, both launched by WDA.

These programmes are aimed at enhancing the opportunities for PMEs, especially mid-career PMEs, to enter the local footwear industry by combining skills upgrading with working experience.

Under the PCP, trainees will undergo the three-month WSQ Diploma in Fashion Technology (Footwear Design & Product Development), as well as a two-month local internship with a host company, WDA said.

The GFTP further exposes local PMEs to the overseas operations of local footwear industry players. Trainees will undergo the five-month PCP followed by an additional five-month on-job training stint at an overseas production facility.

The new WSQ diploma, PCP and GFTP were announced by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Manpower and Health, during the grand finale of “The Art Of Shoes” footwear design competition held this afternoon.

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