A TWO-YEAR degree course will be introduced at the Singapore Institute of Technology for diploma holders who want to be power engineers.

Scheduled to start next September, the full-time course is a collaboration with Britain's Newcastle University.

Regulator Energy Market Authority has endorsed the course, whose goal is to build a pool of specialised engineers skilled in the generation, transmission and distribution of energy in Singapore.

The new course was announced yesterday by Mr S. Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Trade and Industry.

He was having a dialogue with about 170 secondary and tertiary students on energy issues at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.

Said Mr Iswaran: "We know that in the next five to 10 years, there will be opportunities for new entrants to the market, first because of growth in the sector and second because of people who are retiring.

"Engineering, in particular, is the mainstay of this sector, both in terms of its maintenance and operations... (and) future innovation possibilities."

Applications for the course will open early next year.

A snap poll of the students at the dialogue showed that 40 per cent want a career in the energy sector.

Asked which careers in energy would interest them most, half of the 170 students chose clean energy, compared to about 10 per cent for oil and gas.

The remaining students were keen on careers in power generation and utilities, energy efficiency management or energy trading and financing.