To meet the long term manpower requirements of the rail industry, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will establish the Singapore Rail Academy (SGRA) to build up and deepen local engineering and research capabilities.
2. The rail industry currently employs over 6,000 workers for rail operations and maintenance, of whom more than half are engineers and technicians. To support the expansion of the rail network to 360km by 2030, it is estimated that an additional 5,000 workers will be needed. The SGRA will therefore be instrumental in developing capabilities and ensuring that standards for rail engineering, operations, maintenance and safety will meet the demands of the expanded rail network. Professor Cham Tao Soon (詹道存教授), former President of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and former Chairman, SIM University, will lead the setting up of the SGRA.
3. The key thrusts of the SGRA will be as follows:
a) Training: Work with the local rail operators to develop and implement a rail industry competency framework under the Singapore Skills Framework (SSF) to raise standards across the industry. In addition, the SGRA will also collaborate with Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and local rail operators on the design, as well as subsequent delivery of training programmes to deepen our rail engineering capabilities;
b) Accreditation and Certification: Ensure training standards through an accreditation process to certify the proficiency of rail engineers and technicians based on the rail industry competency framework under the SSF;
c) Dedicated Schemes: Develop and implement targeted schemes that will enhance the attractiveness of the sector, such as apprenticeship and through-train schemes;
d) Research: Collaborate with IHLs, research institutes and overseas counterparts on applied rail research (e.g. predictive maintenance, automation) to improve safety, rail reliability and productivity.
4. We will continue to refine the concept of the SGRA, and aim to set it up by the second half of this year. In the longer term, the SGRA aspires to become a leader of rail engineering excellence for professionals in the industry. It aims to be the focal point for capability development and applied research in railway engineering, operations, maintenance and safety.