Temasek Polytechnic yesterday opened a new $30 million facility to train students and working adults to meet the manpower needs of the aviation industry, in line with the national SkillsFuture initiative.
The 6,000 sq m Temasek Aviation Academy has facilities including aircraft technical training workshops, an aircraft-access training hangar, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) development facilities, a wind tunnel and flight simulators.
Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo, who officially opened the facility yesterday, said meeting the industry's manpower needs will be a challenge as Changi Airport continues to expand.
Work has started on a third runway and Terminal 5, which will open in the middle of the next decade and eventually be able to handle more passengers a year than the current three terminals combined.
Mrs Teo said: "Essentially, the skilfulness of our people will determine how successfully we make Changi a better air hub in spite of the constraints we face.
Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo, who officially opened the Temasek Aviation Academy yesterday, said meeting the aviation industry's manpower needs will be a challenge as Changi Airport continues to expand. Work has started on a third runway and Terminal 5.
"We often say we want our people to be future-ready but how do we do that when the job categories, designs and requirements of the future are evolving and often yet unknown?
"It turns out that cultivating a healthy attitude towards learning, a certain flexibility of the mind, and developing the skills of adaptation are key."
With this in mind, Temasek Poly introduced the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme (ELP) for aerospace technicians in August.
Technician Mariani Ahmad Dawood, 21, who works at the Rolls-Royce engine facility in Seletar Aerospace Park, said the two-month training programme was useful. "Besides job-related skills, my teachers and supervisors also emphasised (the importance of) character and attitude which was interesting."
She and 12 other trainees received certificates from Mrs Teo, who said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore is working with industry partners to launch similar programmes for airport passenger services and ground operations.
These will target new recruits and existing staff.
Deputy director of the polytechnic's School of Engineering William See said: "Our mission is to ensure that those who pass through our doors are firmly placed on the path to success as aviation professionals in the industry - be they students aspiring to a career in aviation management or aerospace engineering, or working adults who need to deepen their skills and expand their job scope."
Temasek Poly's aerospace and aviation cohort has grown from 76 students in 2007 to 1,500 last year.