Speech - Address by Ms Low Khah Gek, CEO of ITE, at Opening of ITE-BERNINA Service Training Centre on 1 Apr 2022, at ITE College East

News details
  • Publish date:01 Apr 2022

Ms Gan Siow Huang

Minister of State, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Manpower


His Excellency Fabrice Filliez

Ambassador of Switzerland to Singapore


Ms Katharina Ueltschi  

Managing Director, Bernina Singapore Pte Ltd


Mr Markus Gretler  

Head of After Sales, Bernina International Pte Ltd


Guests from EDB and NIE


ITE Colleagues and students


Ladies and Gentlemen



  1. At each of the three ITE colleges, there is a dedicated facility called the ‘Makerspace’ which is well equipped with equipment, tools and resources for students to drop in and start tinkering and transform their ideas into products. We want to leverage our students’ creativity and practical skills as well as nurture their spirit of enterprise and entrepreneurship.



  1. Over the years, the Makerspace at each ITE college has transformed to include more digital tools and software. At College East, there are two Makerspaces – one focusing on engineering and another focusing on electronics and ecommerce. Hence this second makerspace is called EMakerspace (where we are now).  


  1. Various industry partners have contributed expertise and resources to make the E-Makerspace a vibrant facility. The industry partners also provide their problem statements and projects for our students.  


Computerised Sewing 

  1. It is in this context that ITE linked up with Bernina. We met Katharina at an event hosted by Ambassador Fabrice on 2

    Mar 2020 (pre-pandemic). We were introduced to Bernina’s sewing machine and its cutting edge automation and digital  features:

    • Computer touch screen with a menu for selection of different customisation including choice of stitching such as zig-zag, decorative, quilting etc
    • Start-stop buttons, speed-control dials, automatic threading options
    • Machine memory to store stitching and design settings to repeat sewing patterns 
    • More than 1,500 electronic and automation components to enable automation and computerised sewing


  1. At the start of the pandemic in April 2020, there was high interest among our students and strong demand among the public to sew masks. Training was conducted for ITE staff and students to use the Bernina sewing machines to sew and embroider. ITE collaborated with Bernina to offer workshops to the public. These workshops provide a combination of useful skills - digital sewing, embroidering and online marketing. Since Jul 2020, we have conducted 15 runs of this workshop and trained 140 participants. 


  1. ITE Electronics Engineering students were also fascinated by the electronics and automation components of the machine and 10 students had attended training on troubleshooting and servicing techniques for the Bernina sewing machines. These skills are portable for similar electronics servicing work across various companies.


Sewing Trainers and Service Technicians

  1. This partnership between ITE and Bernina has opened up skills training and employment opportunities for our ITE students and graduates. Today, five ITE students will receive their Bernina Training Programme Certificates, certifying them to be trainers to conduct sewing classes, using the Bernina machines.  


  1. Muhammad Zainul Arifin has just graduated from the Higher Nitec in Electronics Engineering course. He completed his 6-months internship at Bernina, impressed his supervisors and employer, and will be officially employed by Bernina as their Servicing Technical Executive. Bernina is a good employer. Beyond giving Zainul a good salary, they have sent him to Switzerland for a training stint to enlarge his competencies to service a wider range of Bernina machines.  Zainul has just returned from his stint in Switzerland and we will hear from him later all the exciting experiences he has had with Bernina and the future opportunities ahead.



  1. ITE would like to thank Ms Katharina for this partnership with Bernina. We thank Ambassador Fabrice for connecting ITE and Bernina, and your support for this partnership. We also want to express our appreciation to MOS Gan for gracing today’s Opening of E-Makerspace and Bernina’s Service Training Centre at ITE College East. Thank you.