National certification for electric vehicle technicians by second half of 2022

Transport Minister S. Iswaran observing ITE students Benjamin Lim (right) and Arjuna 'Arfah as they work on an electric vehicle at ITE College West on May 30, 2022. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH
Senior lecturer Lim Wei Chuan conducting an EV-related course at ITE College West on May 30, 2022. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - A new national-level certification programme for the maintenance and servicing of electric vehicles (EVs) will be launched in the later half of 2022.

Initiated by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to connect institutes of higher learning, partnering agencies, training providers and companies from the automotive industry, the certification will recognise baseline competencies on safe handling of high-voltage systems related to working with EVs.

New training opportunities will also be added in partnership with the industry. In all, 21 organisations have signed up to train and certify automotive technicians to work safely with EVs.

The certification would be applicable for students undergoing pre-employment training as well as professionals undergoing continuing education and training.

New and existing technicians will be supported though initiatives by government agencies such as SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore to help them pick up EV-specific competencies.

Eligible companies and employees may be entitled to salary support during the training duration.

At a signing ceremony to announce the initiative on Monday (May 30), Transport Minister S. Iswaran said: "Although the transition towards a predominantly electric vehicular fleet will take many years, we need to start upskilling and reskilling efforts today, and plan for the long term to ensure our workforce evolves in the right direction."

The event was held at ITE College West in Choa Chu Kang.

This is the latest initiative to support the phasing out of internal combustion engine vehicles in Singapore by 2040.

In May, more mass-market EV models were moved to qualify for the smaller car category of certificates of entitlement. Premiums in this category are traditionally cheaper than those for the other car categories, thus helping to make EVs more affordable.

The Government is also targeting Housing Board towns to be "EV-ready" by 2025, fitting a minimum of three EV chargers in around 2,000 HDB carparks.

EVs generally require less maintenance than traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, but the skills needed to handle them are different. Instead of performing regular oil changes and parts replacement, for example, technicians carry out electrical troubleshooting and diagnostics.

The Institute of Technical Education (ITE), which is one of the signatories of the partnership, started its EV-related training modules in 2020. It has several EVs in its fleet for students to have hands-on experience working with the technology.

In April, ITE started its work-study diploma programme in land transport engineering. Working with industry partners, students are placed in automotive jobs where they pick up work experience in addition to their academic work conducted by ITE.

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