First skills partnership to improve rail reliability signed; 100 SMEs expected to benefit

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung (fourth from left) during the signing of the partnership between Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), SMRT and SkillsFuture Singapore at SIT's second applied learning conference on Jan 30, 2020. PHOTO: SINGAPORE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

SINGAPORE - The Republic's first skills partnership for the land transport sector aimed at improving the rail network was signed on Thursday (Jan 30).

The partnership between the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), SMRT and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) will support skills development and workplace learning for SMRT's large base of partners.

It will help small and medium-sized enterprises improve rail reliability and drive innovation and productivity improvements across the land transport sector, said SIT and SMRT in a joint statement.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by the three parties on Thursday at SIT's second applied learning conference at Marina Bay Sands.

The guest of honour at the conference was Education Minister Ong Ye Kung.

This pilot collaboration is expected to benefit 100 SMEs over three years.

Under this partnership, SIT and SMRT will co-develop the training curricula, with support from SSG.

Additionally, SMRT will help its SME partners, such as cleaning companies and train maintenance service providers, to identify skills gaps and recommend appropriate training.

Mr Lee Ling Wee, chief executive officer of SMRT Trains, said: "With Singapore's rail network set to increase to 360km by 2030, from about 230km currently, there is a need to build a pool of local talent for the growing rail industry.

"This MOU also encourages our partners to train and work with us to continuously deepen operations and maintenance expertise in our rail industry," he added.

SMRT staff Lim Chek Boon said: "Workplace learning has been very helpful as it allowed me to analyse and efficiently solve technical problems.

"The knowledge I acquired helped me to create short videos on maintenance work for my colleagues' e-learning."

Added Mr Lim, who was in a programme to hone his technical skills last year: "This partnership will give our partners and us more opportunities to share know-how and learn from each other."

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