Professionalising the Bus Maintenance Sector

News Releases 29 Sep 2017 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Singapore Bus Academy bus technician

New Industry-Wide Certification for Bus Technicians

    As part of its efforts to uplift professionalism and build a sustainable pool of technical professionals to support the public bus industry, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is working with the public bus operators and industry stakeholders to introduce a new certification for bus technicians.

2.  A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed today between LTA, the public bus operators and various industry stakeholders[1], to affirm the signatories’ commitment towards raising the competencies of our bus technical professionals. The partnership will also allow LTA to work with the industry to establish and update competency standards, and introduce a new certification for bus technicians which will be recognised across the industry.

3.  Besides enhancing the employability of bus technicians, the professional certification framework will also address industry needs, for example, preparing the workforce for emerging technological advancements, and standardising the industry benchmark for bus technician proficiency.

4.  By mid-2018, bus technicians can be certified under three industry-recognised levels of competency (Skilled, Higher Skilled, or Expert level). The joint certification by The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES) and LTA will be awarded upon the individual passing an assessment test of his/her proficiencies and understanding of key bus systems[2]. Elective certificates in specialised areas[3] will also be offered.

5.  Dean of the Singapore Bus Academy, Ms Goh Puay San said, “Our bus technical professionals play a critical role in keeping our buses running. They repair and maintain the buses, as well as carry out preventive repair works of sub-systems associated with the buses. With the new certification framework, public bus operators will find it easier to benchmark their employees’ competency level and hire bus technicians who are certified under the certification framework. This is especially important as more operators are entering the market under the bus contracting model.”

Professionalising the Bus Maintenance Sector

6.  Besides certification for bus technicians, the public bus industry can look forward to another two new initiatives that will be launched by mid-2018:

a) Chartership for Automotive and Bus Engineers

Automotive and bus engineers can have their competence and experience recognised in the transportation sector through the Singapore Chartered Engineer registration programme administered by IES[4]. A Chartership will provide professional recognition to bus engineers through an external validation of an individual’s experience, expertise and practising competence.

b)  Bridging Course to Align Industry’s Needs with Training

The Singapore Bus Academy and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will work with public bus operators to develop a bridging course, to provide foundational core training for graduates from relevant disciplines interested to embark on a career as a bus technician.

7.  “As the national society of engineers in Singapore, IES will play an active role in this MOU to advance and validate technical competencies of technicians to drive continued growth in the public bus sector. Through the new bus technician certification and the IES Chartered Engineer programme for automotive and bus engineers, we are also committed to raise the professional standing of engineers and technicians to support manpower retention and attraction,” said Er. Edwin Khew, President of IES.

Bus Industry Career Fair

8.  In tandem with the MOU signing, the Employment and Employability (e2i) and LTA had organised a Bus Career Fair at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability today, to offer more than 240 vacancies with the four public bus operators, targeting members of the public who are keen to explore career options offered in the public bus industry.

9.  Mr Gilbert Tan, Chief Executive Officer of e2i said: “With a mutually-recognised competency framework in place, bus technicians can look forward to better career development with clear progression pathways. Besides bus captains and technicians, the public bus industry has multiple job opportunities such as diagnostic engineers, operations officers and service controllers. e2i will work with our partners to upskill our local workforce and attract more Singaporeans to pursue a vocation in this industry.”

SBA Logo

Launched on 17 October 2016, the Singapore Bus Academy is a set-up within the Land Transport Authority. Located at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability, it is an anchor initiative under the SkillsFuture Industry Manpower Plan (previously known as the Sectoral Manpower Plan) for the public bus industry.

The Academy aims to raise the professionalism of the bus industry and build the pipeline of bus professions by integrating industry best practices to offer courses for foundational skills, as well as continual training and skills deepening to bus captains in the longer term. Bus professionals will enjoy continuous and structured skills training and upgrading to enable them to perform their jobs better.

The Academy is also a career resource centre dedicated to the public bus industry, centralising the most up-to-date information on career options and proficiency requirements. It will be the first touch-point for members of the public who wish to embark on a new career in this sector.

[1] Industry stakeholders include the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), The Institute of Engineers, Singapore (IES), Institute of Technical Education College West (ITE), and the National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU).

[2] Examples of key bus systems include body work, propulsion system, chassis, electrical / electronic system, pneumatic, air-conditioning system, door system etc.

[3] Examples of elective modules include test & inspection of equipment, bus recovery & towing, fleet management system, high voltage electrical system & electric drive train, fire suppression system etc.

[4] Launched by IES in 2013, Singapore’s Chartered Engineer programme provides accreditation to engineers in fields that do not require Professional Engineer registration. The programme has progressively expanded to industries like aerospace, chemical & processing, environmental & water, marine & offshore, systems, as well as railway & transportation engineering.

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