500,000 technical workers needed over next decade

Morshidi placing a safety helmet on one of the welding graduates while Anthony (third left), Sabariah (second left), Azmi (right) and others look on. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi
KUCHING: Sarawak will need an estimated 500,000 technical workers over the next 10 years when its industries are fully developed by then. In view of this, State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani said the state government is stepping up its human capital development by giving priority to Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for the youths in Sarawak. “We need to prepare the youths and train them in various skills so as to meet the state’s needs to be an industrialised state by 2030,” he told reporters when met after witnessing the presentation of letters of employment to Centre of Technical Excellence Sarawak (Centexs) alumni from Petra Energy Berhad (PEB) at a leading hotel here yesterday. He pointed out that the trained technical workers need not necessarily be involved directly in the industries per se as they could also be involved in spin-off industries in the state. “Spin-off industries can be like shopping malls, for instance, which will be created because the town is growing…industries are growing. “That’s why we’ve got to prepare them (youths) now in various skills because every level of skill will be required for the state,” he said, adding that Centexs had thus far trained almost 1,000 people in all technical skill levels. On the employment opportunities offered to Centexs graduates, Morshidi, who is also Centexs chairman, said the state government through Centexs collaborates with training providers to not only provide the necessary skills to students but also job opportunities. “We have collaborated with companies such as Petronas in training them and they are also helping us in providing the necessary equipment to train more people. “Apart from Petronas, we also have PEB, one of our industry partners which has put in consistent efforts since 2014 and embraced a progressive mindset in harmonising the needs of Centexs trainees with the oil and gas industry,” he remarked. Earlier in his speech, Morshidi said Centexs will continuously look for strategic industry partners that can collaborate to ensure their training programmes are relevant. “The on-the-job training in the industries offers a strong on-the-job experience. This enables the trainees to acquire both hard and soft skills resulting in improved employability. “Hence, it is important for Centexs and its strategic partners to harmonise the quality of the curriculum and improve alignment with the latest industry requirements as well as national and state economic priorities,” he emphasised. A total of 40 welding graduates from Centexs received their letters of employment which were presented by Morshidi and PEB chief executive officer Datuk Anthony Firdauz Bujang. Also present were Deputy State Secretary Dr Sabariah Putit and Yayasan Sarawak director Azmi Bujang. (Souce: The Borneo Post)
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