For landscaping firm’s head, there’s no end to learning, Singapore News & Top Stories

Michael Teh Hock Beng, 66, Managing Director of Nature Landscapes, has been in the horticultural industry for 40 years.

Yesterday, the advocate of lifelong learning won a SkillsFuture Fellowship Award while his company received a SkillsFuture Employer Award.

“Lifelong learning really is what it means – life; long. All you have to do is tell yourself that you can’t stop learning. Otherwise, you will become a relic of the past,” he said.

He now wants to register for an arborist program to be certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), as well as for a Certified Practicing Horticulturist Program.

Both are joint initiatives by ISA and the Australian Institute of Horticulture with the Center for Urban Greenery and Ecology, a division of the National Parks Board.

Mr. Teh said he wanted to enroll with them to be a “responsible practitioner” and to show his colleagues that it is “never too old to learn”.

He holds a degree in estate management from the National University of Singapore but founded Nature Landscapes with six employees in 1981, inspired by his mother’s love for horticulture and his own interest in plants. Today he has more than 500 employees.

Mr. Teh and Ms. Jacqueline Allan, 53, Managing Director at Nature Landscapes, developed an exclusive training curriculum for employees with the aim of becoming a premium landscaping company.

It was revised in 2017 and includes on-the-job training, peer-to-peer learning and standard courses in areas such as soft skills.

Mr. Teh said, “We would not have achieved any of this without having the technical skills to become a garden city. All of this requires skills, technology and knowledge.”

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