Co-operating with universities will ensure PSA's workforce have the required skills for the Tuas megaport's next-generation technologies
One of the key pillars of Singapore’s Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map is developing what is described as “a future-ready maritime workforce.”
Across a range of disciplines and career paths, academic institutions, local authorities and business have come together to put in place initiatives to foster the next generation of maritime talent needed to maintain Singapore’s position as a major maritime centre.
The Tuas Megaport, set to open in in stages starting in 2021, will incorporate a host of next-generation technologies such as automation, intelligent control systems, and sustainable technologies. Some of the high-tech systems the port will incorporate include unmanned vehicles such as automated yard cranes, drones and driverless trucks for port transport. PSA has engaged in several partnerships to ensure its workforce at the port will have a deep understanding of these systems.
In December 2018, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and PSA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at developing talent in the areas of data science, info-comms and engineering for the new Tuas port.
The new port will be ‘smart’, utilising big data, automation technologies and smart systems to raise terminal productivity and service quality. To build the skillsets needed to manage these technologies, PSA is contributing content to SUTD’s curriculum, giving students exposure and advancing their knowledge in smart technologies and systems used in port operations.
Internships with PSA will be made available to SUTD students, enabling them to learn and apply engineering principles, infocommunications, cyber security, and data science knowledge and skills to modern port operations and equipment.
The two parties will also collaborate on building a talent pipeline to provide skilled staff able to support PSA’s extensive network of ICT infrastructure.
SUTD’s president professor Chong Tow Chong said “SUTD’s strategic partnership with PSA will not only offer our students valuable hands-on experience in the actual global port environment, but also encourage the free flow of information, ideas and innovation between both organisations.
“Together, we look forward to forging new frontiers for the maritime sector and innovate new processes applicable to the industry’s needs.”
The collaboration between PSA and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) bore fruit in August 2018 with the graduation of the first batch of 29 PSA engineers and ICT managers from SIT’s Systems Engineering programme.
This was established as part of an MoU signed by PSA and SIT in March 2017 on collaborations including developing and implementing a training programme focusing on automation technology to meet PSA’s capability development for the new Tuas Port.
The part-time, 12-month Systems Engineering programme was developed by SIT’s lifelong-learning division, SITLEARN Professional Development, in partnership with PSA. The course aims to equips participants with practical skills enabling them to appreciate the inter-relationships between various systems, and to design and maintain complex automated systems seen as vital by PSA for the new generation of ultra-modern and intelligent container terminals at Tuas Port.
Addressing the cohort, PSA International’s regional chief executive for southeast Asia Ong Kim Pong said “As technology and digitalisation drive rapid changes in the workplace, continuous learning has increasingly become a requisite job skill, and I am heartened that our PSA leaders continue to upgrade themselves and adopt lifelong learning at work.
“This will stand them in good stead when they apply what they have learnt to their work, while at the same time ensuring that they are future-ready for our next-generation port."