Rail sector remains bright spot for jobs, says Khaw

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan and rail industry stakeholders, including SMRT chief executive Neo Kian Hong, SBS Transit acting CEO Cheng Siak Kian and Land Transport Authority CEO Ngien Hoon Ping, in a Zoom session with engineering students yester
A Land Transport Authority engineer checking the environmental control system that controls the air-conditioning in the Tampines West station and tunnel ventilation. MRT operators SMRT and SBS Transit are still recruiting staff, especially engineers, said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan. ST FILE PHOTO

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 yesterday.

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," Mr Khaw said in a virtual dialogue with engineering students.

"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 spread of the coronavirus, demand is expected to pick up again when economies recover.

Locally, he said, MRT operators SMRT and SBS Transit 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, who is also Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure.

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

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan and rail industry stakeholders, including SMRT chief executive Neo Kian Hong, SBS Transit acting CEO Cheng Siak Kian and Land Transport Authority CEO Ngien Hoon Ping, in a Zoom session with engineering students yester
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan and rail industry stakeholders, including SMRT chief executive Neo Kian Hong, SBS Transit acting CEO Cheng Siak Kian and Land Transport Authority CEO Ngien Hoon Ping, in a Zoom session with engineering students yesterday. 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 sector's continued growth 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.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2020, with the headline 'Rail sector remains bright spot for jobs, says Khaw'. Subscribe