SINGAPORE: Port operator PSA and Republic Polytechnic have teamed up to launch an experiential lab that will give 400 students each year a glimpse into what it is like managing a container terminal as well as showcase port operations of the future.
Speaking at the launch of the RP-PSA Experiential Lab on Friday (Jan 5), principal and CEO of Republic Polytechnic Yeo Li Pheow described it as a themed lab designed to replicate an authentic PSA workplace environment, enabling students to be exposed to port operations and technology before they graduate.
Mr Yeo said: “Coupled with Republic Polytechnic’s problem-based learning pedagogy, students will undergo contextualised learning according to the needs of the industry, allowing them to be industry-ready upon graduation.”
Students who will benefit from the new lab include those studying for their Diploma in Industrial and Operations Management, Diploma in Supply Chain Management and Diploma in Aviation Management.
At the launch of the lab, Minister for Education and Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng said that the maritime sector contributes 7 per cent of Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs more than 170,000 people.
He further noted that the maritime industry is already undergoing technological transformation, and that ports around the world are under greater pressure to improve productivity, service reliability, and turnaround time of ships, all while adapting to the changing requirements of shipping.
“With digital transformation, there will be new, exciting career opportunities at our port,” said Minister Ng.
“For one, we will need more programmers and data scientists for a variety of port-related functions. For those who are more inclined to be at the front-line, you can take up a job overseeing automated yard cranes enabled by smart software, intelligent sensors, and cameras. We will also need operators to fly drones to inspect port equipment and assist in troubleshooting through remote video screening.
“A future-proof port is only possible if we have a future-ready workforce,” he added.
“This lab is a key step towards equipping our students with the necessary skill-sets to work in a fast-paced and challenging environment, and to learn from one of the best port operators in the world," said Mr Chee.
The lab is the latest initiative from a three-year memorandum signed between RP and PSA in 2015.