SBS Transit in First-ever Work Study Diploma Programme in Land Transport Engineering with ITE

Nineteen-year-old Mr Muhammad Adri Bin Muhammad Hamdan is the envy of his friends - he is paid to study! Enrolled in the ITE inaugural Land Transport Engineering Diploma programmme, he spends a day in school to learn about automotive technology, and five days at SBS Transit's Hougang Bus workshop to gain hands-on practical exposure as an apprentice.  As a NITEC graduate, he also earns a monthly salary of about $2,000 in this ITE first ever work-study engineering diploma programme done in collaboration with SBS Transit. The Company is the first and only public transport operator to be involved in the programme.

This two-and-a-half-year programme commenced on 4 April 2022 with Adri and 20 other students working in SBS Transit as apprentices. With the option to select their specialisation track, 13 have selected bus engineering and eight have chosen rail engineering.  

SBS Transit CEO, Mr Cheng Siak Kian, said: “This partnership with ITE enables us to grow a strong pipeline of well-trained technicians with relevant hands-on experience for the public transport industry. Significantly, it serves as a springboard for ITE engineering graduates looking to join the industry and it also gives them a head start in their career after National Service.” 

“For ITE graduates, it creates a pathway for them to hone their practical skills and gain valuable industry-related experience while pursuing a diploma qualification.  It is a win-win situation and we also look forward to contributing our industry expertise and knowledge to help develop a comprehensive and rigorous curriculum for the work-study diploma programme,” added Mr Cheng.

The apprentices will be equipped with knowledge and skills in carrying out preventive and corrective maintenance activities on buses and trains and their related systems. They will also develop their competencies in diagnosis before undertaking repair works.  Students in the bus engineering track will be trained to handle both conventional internal combustion engines as well as high voltage electric powered buses. This will ensure they are future-ready as more clean-energy buses come on stream.   
Upon completion of the diploma course, they will be interviewed for employment opportunities with SBS Transit. Those who are successful will commence their jobs upon completion of their National Service, which has been deferred until they finish their diploma studies. 
“I have always been interested in automotive engineering since I was a child. I was so excited when I heard about the course and quickly signed up for it.  Luckily, I qualified and was selected after I finished my NITEC course.  For me, it is a big deal that I am able to do both - to study and at the same time, work to support myself. My time is better used too to prepare myself for a future career in engineering!” said Adri.

Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Transport, attended a briefing on the programme’s practical curriculum at the North East Line’s Sengkang Depot earlier this afternoon. He viewed demonstrations on the use of Augmented Reality technology, diagnostic software to assess faults on a diesel hybrid bus and train driving on a simulator which the students will receive training in. 

The Minister also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between SBS Transit and ITE to extend their collaboration to enhance the competency of ITE students and staff in land transport engineering. This will involve the transfer of knowledge and expertise as well as capability development opportunities such as attachments, local and overseas training and involvement in industry projects.  SBS Transit will also provide facilities and use of equipment as part of the collaboration.