Media Release - SMRT and Nanyang Polytechnic Launch New Diplomas to Strengthen Talent Pipeline


19 June 2024


1. SMRT Trains and Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) announced the creation of two Diplomas to further support the advancement of manpower and talent for the transport and rail sectors. The Diploma in Engineering (Public Transport Operations) and the WSQ Diploma in Retail (Retail Operations) with a Certificate of Completion in Transport Service also mark a first in Singapore: Over 40 per cent of the curricula in these two courses were co-developed by an industry major, specifically in this case, SMRT. 


2. Explained Principal and CEO of NYP, Mr Russell Chan: “We have been championing competency-based learning and have designed our model to deeply involve industry. We call it the Professional Competency Model, or PCM – where a key feature involves NYP working closely with industry majors to co-develop what we teach, and in some cases co-teach, and co-certify. When companies are at the forefront for their expertise areas, learners acquire the skills and competencies highly sought after by future employers here and abroad.”


3. The Diploma in Engineering (Public Transport Operations) will be a part-time diploma conducted over two and a half years, with the inaugural run commencing October 2024. This is the first part-time diploma developed by NYP under the Professional Competency Model, to upskill existing staff in, and provide opportunities for mid-career workers transitioning into, the rail sector. 


4. The diploma programme will prepare learners for real-life tasks through training applications that utilise immersive learning technology, which were developed by SMRT Institute - the public transport operator's in-house training division. This includes performing lift rescues for passengers trapped in elevators and responding to point failures on the track by manually securing the point to allow the train to resume service. These hands-on learning processes will also provide learners with the opportunity to incorporate what they learnt at the workplace, with training for certain modules to be held at SMRT’s premises.


5. The WSQ Diploma in Retail (Retail Operations) with a Certificate of Completion in Transport Service is a 20-day programme conducted over a period of one year.  This programme will upskill learners and deepen their domain knowledge in Service Excellence delivery and strategy. Through bite-sized assessments, the WSQ Diploma will help learners ease back into the learning process, thus providing those who have been out of school for a while with the confidence to resume their studies. With modules designed to enhance their leadership and service skills, learners will be better equipped to demonstrate empathy towards commuters.


6. Upon completing the WSQ Diploma in Retail (Retail Operations) with a Certificate of Completion in Transport Service, learners can choose to pursue the Diploma in Engineering (Public Transport Operations), which opens up opportunities for them to transition into various areas within the rail industry.


7. Mr Lam Sheau Kai, President, SMRT Trains, said: "At SMRT Trains, we are honoured and delighted to partner with Nanyang Polytechnic to launch two pioneering diplomas. This collaboration underscores our commitment to building a robust talent pipeline for Singapore's rail and transport industry. By combining our industry expertise with Nanyang Polytechnic's educational excellence, we not only offer our staff the opportunity to upskill but also pave the way for those keen to learn more about the rail and service sectors. This initiative aligns with our national educational drive to prepare an industry-ready workforce. We look forward to welcoming more people to join SMRT and serve in the rail industry."