Tower Transit Singapore Launches Engineering Centre of Excellence

All TTS vehicle technicians to receive professional UK licences; diplomas to be offered to wider automotive industry

PUBLISHED February 28, 2018

SINGAPORE, 28 February 2018 – Tower Transit Singapore launched its Engineering Centre of Excellence today to provide professional accreditation and international qualifications for vehicle technicians in the automotive industry. It is the first in Singapore to offer diplomas from the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), an international association promoting professional standards in the automotive sectors all over the world. The diplomas are in vehicle parts, and heavy vehicle maintenance and repair, and are open to all technicians in the automotive industry.

The Centre of Excellence is also the only place outside the UK where vehicle technicians can be assessed for an irtec licence – widely-recognised throughout the UK as a benchmark of a vehicle technician’s competence. It will begin by offering the Inspection Technician licence to technicians involved in the inspection of buses and coaches.

“In our bid for the Bulim Package, Singapore’s first tendered bus contract, we committed to introducing international best practices and contributing to engineering know-how in the local public transport industry. This Engineering Centre of Excellence is about delivering on that promise. It will introduce skills benchmarks that will professionalise the role of vehicle technicians and recognise the value of the work they do,” said Tower Transit Singapore’s MD Andrew Bujtor.

The Centre of Excellence is equipped to facilitate training in the latest engineering best practices and on next generation technology. It boasts a new, stripped-down Volvo B8 chassis with a Euro VI engine – the latest in diesel technology with the lowest emissions, an e-learning centre for access to online knowledge bases and tests, and a rig room for specialist training on key bus components. All this is housed alongside Tower Transit’s workshop – the first in Southeast Asia accredited by the Institute of Road Transport Engineers – and within the sprawling 10-hectare Bulim Bus Depot.

The course and qualifications will be conducted by accomplished, award-winning engineers drawn from Tower Transit’s engineering leadership. They are Senior Diagnostic Engineer Ray Silcox who beat some of the UK’s best transport engineers to the title of Top Scoring Mechanical Technician at the

Institute of Road Transport Engineers (IRTE) Skills Challenge in 2015, and Engineering Technical and Training Manager David Burton who designed buses at Wrightbus and has more than three decades of experience in the bus and coach industry. Both have been made the first international, accredited assessors for irtec licensing.

The Engineering Centre of Excellence has already welcomed its first batch of students – three vehicle technicians have enrolled for diplomas in heavy vehicle maintenance and repair. They will receive on-the-job training and accomplish tasks in their daily work to fulfil the requirements of the diploma. Tower Transit Singapore also aims to have all its vehicle technicians assessed and conferred irtec licenses by July 2018.

“Skilled vehicle technicians have been one of the hardest talents for us to find. In the absence of experience and know-how, our approach has been to hire promising, young candidates and a top-flight engineering leadership to upskill them and nurture a new generation of knowledgeable, well-rounded vehicle technicians. The Engineering Centre of Excellence is the cornerstone of this recruitment strategy,” said Tower Transit Singapore’s Head of Engineering Mark Hegarty.

It is a strategy that has begun to yield fruit. In June 2017, Tower Transit Singapore sent a team of four vehicle technicians – all new to the bus industry – to the IRTE Skills Challenge in the UK. Despite their relative inexperience and being the first foreign team to compete, Tower Transit Singapore finished runners-up in the Mechanical and Bodywork category.

The Engineering Centre of Excellence was launched by the British Deputy High Commissioner Mrs Alexandra McKenzie at the event held today.