SIT and Industry Partners Launch Competency-Based Workplace Learning to Upskill Singaporeans in Infocomm Technology and Land Transport Sectors
MOUs signed with Ensign InfoSecurity, the Land Transport Authority, SBS Transit and SMRT Corporation to address industry skills gaps and provide an inclusive alternative pathway for in-employment learners to upskill and pursue a degree, through the pilot of a new Competency-Based Workplace Learning Pathway
As part of the efforts to forge greater resilience and upskill manpower for Singapore’s key sectors, the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) has inked two separate Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with leading industry partners Ensign InfoSecurity Pte. Ltd., the Land Transport Authority (LTA), SBS Transit Ltd and SMRT Corporation Ltd to provide more workplace learning opportunities.
The collaborations will see the university piloting a new Competency-Based Workplace Learning Pathway that will provide adult learners, regardless of their starting qualifications, a means to enhance their skills and pursue a degree while working – the first-of-its-kind in Singapore.
The signing ceremonies were graced by Minister for Education, Mr Chan Chun Sing, during SkillsFuture Month @SIT on 4 August 2021.
As part of the MOUs, SIT will collaborate with these industry partners to upskill their workforce to meet evolving industry needs and achieve greater alignment between academic achievement and work performance. This comes as Singapore’s key sectors, including cybersecurity and transportation, are expected to grow significantly, and critical to that development is a skilled and resilient workforce that will help power sustained growth in the post-pandemic economy.
The new pathway, designed in collaboration with industry partners, will adopt a different modality in delivering two existing SIT degree programmes in cybersecurity and land transportation. Under this new pathway, adult learners will be able to acquire competencies and get recognition of skills at the workplace. They will also be assessed based on their displayed competencies.
“Through our engagements with industry, we see the increasing importance of workplace learning to drive lifelong learning in our workforce and enable our companies to transform and progress,” said Professor Chua Kee Chaing, Deputy President (Academic) & Provost, SIT. “If we can work with companies to curate workplace learning to allow in-employment learners to upgrade and gain relevant higher certifications that are useful to and hence recognised by the companies, we create win-win solutions for both the learners and the companies. That is why SIT is committed to driving Singapore’s first Competency-Based Workplace Learning Pathway.”
“This partnership with SIT will enable Ensign to help grow the cybersecurity talent pool in Singapore by grooming and upskilling cyber professionals. It will provide a much needed pathway for cyber professionals to deepen their knowledge and stay on top of their game while being employed, thereby contributing to our overall efforts to build a set of strong localised cyber-defence capabilities and nurture a sustainable workforce to defend our cyberspace; at the same time providing a helpful relief valve from the intensifying and somewhat unhealthy market competition for cyber professionals,” said Mr Lee Fook Sun, Chairman, Ensign InfoSecurity.
Forging Quality Industry Partnerships
Over the next two decades, the Singapore Government plans to expand public transport connectivity with new rail lines and continue to improve rail reliability of existing lines through systems upgrading and renewal. Ramping up the development of local competencies to operate and maintain our rail systems is critical to these efforts.
To help pave the way for a career in the rail industry, the MOU signed between SIT, LTA, SBS Transit and SMRT Corporation will see the development of a new Postgraduate Certificate in Urban Railway Technology in addition to the competency-based degree pathway in land transportation.
This new postgraduate programme will be co-developed and delivered by SIT and LTA’s Singapore Rail Academy (SGRA), with the support of the two rail operators. Designed for engineering professionals within the local rail industry, the programme draws on SGRA’s industry-standard expertise and experience, as well as SIT’s applied learning approach to equip them with deeper knowledge and practical skillsets in rail engineering, operations and maintenance.
Said LTA’s Chief Executive Ng Lang: “Our rail engineering, operations and maintenance workers are the backbone of a safe and reliable MRT system. Today’s MOU is another step we have taken to continue to nurture and develop a strong pipeline of local talents with deep technical rail expertise and cross-functional capabilities.”
SBS Transit Chief Executive Officer, Mr Cheng Siak Kian, said: “We are very excited to be embarking on this journey with SIT. Our employees have always been at the heart of our business and we recognise the importance of continued education as a necessary investment for employees to broaden and deepen their rail competencies. This initiative will no doubt help our people grow professionally and gain recognition for their skills and expertise.”
Mr Neo Kian Hong, Group Chief Executive Officer, SMRT Corporation, said: “SMRT is delighted to be part of this MOU which provides professionals in the industry with structured and targeted opportunities to upgrade themselves through a workplace learning pathway. We encourage our staff to continually deepen their knowledge and skills as they strive for excellence in their professional development. With a highly skilled workforce, SMRT is also able to maintain a high level of operations and maintenance to better serve our commuters.”
SIT’s Competency-Based Workplace Learning Pathway
The new Competency-Based Workplace Learning Pathway will adopt a collaborative approach with industry partners to make workplace learning more immersive and rewarding for participants, through the following key features:
- Recognition of Prior Learning: This pathway will recognise adult learners’ work experience and prior competencies using competency-based assessment methods, and award credits towards fulfilment of the degree programme’s requirement.
- Learner-Centric: Most of the learning outcomes required for the degree programme will be achieved through curated projects which learners carry out at their place of work. Learners will have access to online lectures for the respective modules within the degree programme, and receive facilitated coaching and instruction from SIT faculty through online platforms. This approach will provide learners with greater flexibility and ownership over their learning journey and pace, minimising disruptions in their work and personal lives.
- Collaborative Engagement with Industry Partners: The new pathway has been developed in close consultation with industry partners. This collaborative process ensures that both the industry’s training needs as well as adult learners’ upgrading aspirations are met.
SIT will pilot the new Competency-Based Workplace Learning Pathway in the following degree programmes from September 2021:
- Bachelor of Engineering in Information and Communications Technology (Information Security), in collaboration with Ensign InfoSecurity Pte. Ltd.;
- Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering Technology in Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (Land), in collaboration with LTA, SBS Transit Ltd and SMRT Corporation Ltd.
SkillsFuture Month @SIT
Anchored around its theme of “Supporting Industry Transformation through Upskilling Singapore Workforce”, SkillsFuture Month @SIT features a series of online workshops on trends in areas such as Digitalisation, Smart Manufacturing, Design Innovation and Sustainability, Health and Food Innovation, and Community & Social Services, amongst others. Held in partnership with SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and supported by the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), participants at these workshops can look forward to gaining insights from industry leaders and IHLs, and discover learning opportunities to be future-ready.