Updated: 07/16/2013 23:06

Singapore seen its first footwear design hub

Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Teo Ser Luck looks on as a staff operates a machine at the

Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Teo Ser Luck looks on as a staff operates a machine at the

Budding footwear designers and enthusiasts no longer need to go abroad for professional training in shoes prototyping and design. 

Singapore now has its first footwear design hub to nurture new talents for the industry. 

The hub, known as the Bronx Creative Design Centre, will also provide a platform for aspiring footwear entrepreneurs to kick-start their business. 

The one million dollar Bronx Design Centre will equip students with comprehensive knowledge of the shoe industry - from an in-depth study of footwear materials, to managing a shoe business.

The centre's vice president of industry development, Leow Hai Kuen says the main goal of the centre is to address the lack of footwear industry training services in Singapore. 

However, there are plans in the pipeline for outstanding learners to hone their skills at major shoemakers based overseas. 

These include sending them overseas for internship with renowned footwear brands. 

A few may even land themselves jobs. 

"You need good designers to cater to their segment markets, today, China is lacking of these people. We can provide designers, send them over there, these designers are certified with our certs, they have the advantage."

The centre would also help young entreprenuers kick-start their business. 

"You can make a shoe, you can design, but you don't know where to start, we will tell you this. You talk about the components, leather, soles, all these are relatively low cost. That's why it is very good to start off, custom make shoes for other consumers. You can make use of our facilities here."

Speaking at the centre's opening, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Teo Ser Luck, says the centre would hopefully provide job opportunites brought about by collaborations between by local and overseas enterprises. 

"There's a potential to be easier to attract companies in this business, to come here and set up their base for research and development, and design. Now we have collaborations with ITE and Poly, and I hope that through our SME talent programme, more graduates and students can actually work with, or be enrolled in to the course, and subsequently be given job opportunities as well."

-By Lee Gim Siong

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