Rail engineering is the backbone of our railway industry. The opening of the Singapore Rail Academy (SGRA) is a major step to help us build on our solid foundations today, to continue to nurture a Singaporean talent pool with not only deep technical expertise, but also cross-functional capabilities. Today, we also celebrated the achievements of 47 outstanding individuals for their professional excellence, skills mastery, and dedication to continuous learning, through the inaugural Public Transport Awards.
SGRA to champion rail engineering capabilities
2. A strong engineering core is essential to support our expanding rail network, increasingly complex and challenging projects, and higher service standards. The opening of the SGRA is a major milestone in our continued investments to skill, up-skill and re-skill our railway workforce. It will collaborate with our tripartite partners and highly-regarded institutions locally and from abroad to build up our rail research capabilities, certify the proficiencies of railway professionals, and promote careers in the rail industry.
3. LTA has signed two memorandums of understanding (MOUs) to facilitate SGRA’s work. The first MOU with the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) affirms the commitment of both parties to attract, retain, and develop the local rail industry workforce. The second MOU, with the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and the International Council on Systems Engineering, a US-based not-for-profit membership organisation, establishes a partnership to develop skilled manpower in systems engineering through pre-employment training and continuing education and training programmes.
4. To build up the talent pipeline for the industry, the SGRA has started to develop a dedicated programme called Career On-boarding for Railway Engineering (CORE). This programme will benefit both fresh entrants to the railway industry and mid-career upgraders, by helping them deepen their technical skills and broaden their exposure to related functional areas, including design, planning, development, operations, and regulations. The first three-day foundation module was rolled out in January 2017 and was attended by about 30 engineers from LTA, SMRT and SBS Transit. The SGRA will work with the rail operators and local Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) to develop more of such industry schemes.
5. As with many professional and technical jobs, industry relevance and applied learning are key. SIT and LTA have therefore opened two teaching laboratories at SIT – the Transportation Systems Lab and Systems Engineering Lab – to enhance laboratory-based teaching and learning, and enable applications-focused research on systems engineering, modelling and simulation. For example, the Transportation Systems Lab is equipped with an advanced railway engineering simulator software that is customised to Singapore’s rail network. Students can design rail networks and be exposed to various rail signalling operations and simulations.
Inaugural Public Transport Awards recognise achievements of 47 individuals
6. The inaugural Public Transport Awards celebrate the achievements of 47 individuals in skills development and continuous learning within the industry. The scholarships, book prizes and training grants can be used to pursue industry-relevant courses. The Award recipients include students in the local IHLs as well as in-service engineers and technical staff. Please refer to Annex A for more information on the Awards.
Annex A: Public Transport Awards
The Singapore Rail Academy (SGRA) is a set-up within the Land Transport Authority. Its chairman is Professor Cham Tao Soon, and its Dean is Mr Chua Chong Kheng, who is also LTA’s Deputy Chief Executive, Infrastructure & Development. SGRA starts off with a core team of four staff and will operate on shared resources within LTA. SGRA is located at LTA’s Bedok Campus.