SINGAPORE - In a tie-up tailor-made to boost employability, students at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) can now get a taste of real work experience servicing digital sewing machines made by Swiss company Bernina.
A purpose-built service training centre at ITE College East in Simei was launched on Friday (April 1), in a partnership between ITE and Bernina Singapore, a subsidiary of Bernina International.
The students will get an internship allowance from Bernina and an additional sum for each machine that they successfully maintain or service.
The partnership also develops talent that supports the company’s expansion in the region.
ITE graduate Muhammad Zainul Arifin Azman, 23, who earned his Higher Nitec in electronics engineering last month, got the chance to learn the finer points of servicing the machines in a recent trip to Bernina’s headquarters in Switzerland. He has been hired by the company as a technical executive following a six-month internship last year.
The ITE-Bernina Service Training Centre, which was launched by Minister of State for Education and Manpower Gan Siow Huang on Friday, is equipped with 10 digital sewing and automated embroidery machines.
The facility doubles as a learning centre and makerspace, or collaborative work space, for digital sewing.
Students in the Higher Nitec mechanical engineering and electronics engineering courses are trained to perform servicing and troubleshooting of the machines in the centre.
At the launch, five ITE students received certificates that allow them to conduct sewing classes as trainers, using the Bernina machines.
The space will also be used to conduct ITE’s SkillsFuture course in digital sewing for the public.
The sewing machines come with a computer touchscreen for selection of customisation options such as choice of stitching, as well as automatic threading options and machine memory to store stitching and design settings to repeat sewing patterns.
Mr Fabrice Filliez, Switzerland’s Ambassador to Singapore, and Ms Katharina Ueltschi, managing director of Bernina Singapore, also attended the launch.
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