A SIX-MONTH work placement in the territory's industrial and engineering firms is expected to help Singaporean engineering students decide if they want to join their country's firms in Hong Kong in the future. Teo Yi Dar, one of eight students from the National University of Singapore (NUS) taking part in the Engineering Students' Exchange Scheme, said he wanted to learn how the territory's engineering and industrial firms were run. The 23-year-old electrical engineering student said the high cost of production in Singapore meant the island had lost its competitive edge to countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and China. The Government's proposal to boost revenue by setting up more overseas companies would lead to an increased demand for engineers from his nation. The exchange scheme is organised jointly by the engineering societies of NUS and the University of Hong Kong (HKU). The eight NUS engineering students, chosen from more than 100 applicants, will work at Hong Kong electrical companies until June. They are staying at HKU's residential halls. Job placement is a compulsory part of the syllabus for NUS' third-year engineering students. Of the small number of students who go abroad for training (20 out of 500), most have headed for Hong Kong, with the rest opting for Japan, the United States and Britain. The 22-year-old scheme is one of the first exchange programmes organised by HKU. Each year the university selects eight engineering students to take up training jobs in Singaporean firms. HKU second-year mechanical engineering student Ng Hoi-pang, who will travel to the Lion City in June for the eight-week summer placement, said the training was a compulsory part of his second-year syllabus. While most of his classmates opted for training in the territory, he preferred to take the challenge of learning in a foreign country. 'I want to experience life in a multinational society and to get a better insight of its technological development,' he told Campus Post. Although payments from his Singaporean employer would be lower than money paid by Hong Kong firms, Mr Ng said the experience was worth the price. The student said the group was looking for sponsorship.