Plenty of opportunities for engineering graduates in rail sector despite Covid-19: Khaw

While public transport ridership has fallen worldwide, including in Singapore, the industry is still expected to grow. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Job opportunities are still plentiful for engineering students as Singapore continues work on rail sector projects in spite of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Friday (May 29).

They can also pursue jobs in the rail industry overseas, with cities worldwide expected to continue to grow and develop their rail network.

"There are a lot of opportunities in Singapore in the rail sector, but in the region, even more," said Mr Khaw in a virtual dialogue with engineering graduates.

"So for those who contemplate during their career to go out of Singapore, there are huge opportunities, for the simple reason that cities are continuing to urbanise."

He cited countries like China, India, Vietnam and Thailand as being among those that are building new networks or high-speed railways.

While public transport ridership has temporarily fallen worldwide, including in Singapore, following measures such as a move to telecommuting to control the coronavirus spread, demand is expected to pick up again when economies recover.

Locally, he said MRT operators SMRT and SBS are still recruiting staff, especially engineers.

This is to drive expansion works of the rail network here, with the Thomson-East Coast Line, Jurong Region Line and Cross Island Line all in the works, added Mr Khaw.

"So together, we will be recruiting hundreds, if not thousands, of engineers to build these new networks as well as to run them."

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan in a virtual dialogue with engineering graduates on May 29, 2020. PHOTO: KHAW BOON WAN/FACEBOOK

Those who join the industry will also get the chance to innovate and experiment with new technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation and data science.

Mr Khaw said the continued growth in the sector has prompted the Ministry of Transport and the Land Transport Authority to continue giving out scholarships to attract students.

"The pandemic may have dampened the mood of most people, but we will do our best to make sure that your prospects will not be dampened," he added.

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