Residents to be hired to help care for neighbourhood gardens
Those with green fingers may soon be employed on a part-time basis to help landscaping works in neighbourhood gardens.
Such opportunities will be part of about 1,000 new and upgraded jobs which the National Parks Board (NParks) aims to create over the next five years, said Minister for National Development Desmond Lee yesterday.
Many of the jobs - for Singaporeans - will leverage new technologies as part of NParks' digitalisation push for the landscape industry.
To foster greater ownership of gardens and green spaces, landscape companies will employ residents to care for greenery in their neighbourhoods under the Resident Gardener programme.
The Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council started a similar initiative in 2015. This is the first time it is being rolled out for greenery under NParks' purview.
It will start with a pilot programme next month in Ang Mo Kio, Punggol and Yishun.
NParks will link residents with landscape companies, and also train these gardeners to use mechanised tools.
"The programme provides an opportunity for residents who are gardening enthusiasts to supplement their income while engaging in their interests," said Mr Lee.
A year-long pilot involving the use of new tree and park management technologies will begin this month as part of the Landscape Sector Transformation Plan launched in 2019.
The plan aims to digitalise, mechanise and professionalise the sector over a decade. The pilot will focus on the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio area before the use of such technologies is scaled up islandwide from January 2022.
NParks said its digitalisation push will encourage the landscape sector to adopt technology, operate safely with greater efficiency and precision, attract a younger workforce, and enable older workers to continue contributing.
On the choice of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio, NParks said the area is representative of the different terrains it manages.
Mr Goh Eng Lam, chairman of the Landscape Industry Association (Singapore), said the new technologies will help to reduce reliance on manual work and foreign workers.