By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS
The motorcycle industry in the country is facing a shortage of highly-skilled technicians who are capable to operate the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) technology.
Hong Leong Yamaha Motor Sdn Bhd MD Datuk Jim Khor said motorcycle manufacturers are giving priority to technicians with skills beyond the common industry requirements.
“The motorcycle industry still lacks competent technicians, not just in Selangor, but throughout Malaysia.
“The industry is no longer seeking ordinary skills such as fixing or assembling a motorcycle, but also the skills to operate Industry 4.0 technology,” he said at the launch of the company’s Technician Apprenticeship Programme (TAP) in Shah Alam yesterday.
As such, Khor said Yamaha Motor has collaborated with INPENS International College to address the issue, and initiate an effective technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programme.
“The TAP programme will prepare the students with the new technologies and systems, as well as teach them how to incorporate the technologies into workshops and assembly factories,” he said.
Khor added that the programme would require six months of industrial training at Yamaha Motor’s branches across the country before the students could seek job opportunities elsewhere.
“The first batch that we took in September last year comprised eight students from INPENS. We will add another batch every six months.
“It will also depend on INPENS if they can provide excellent students who are qualified for this programme,” he said.
INPENS CEO Ahmad Zabri Mohd Yaman said the country needs talents with balanced academic and industrial skills to achieve a developed nation status.
“Initially, our institution has focused on students who are a little behind in their education — and at the same time, helping quality students who are interested in the TVET (sector).
“As for the first batch, we had provided Yamaha Motor with eight students. Moving forward, we expect to provide a maximum of 25 students,” he said, adding that technical professionals must be equally excellent in both the academic and technical aspects as part of the requirements in developed countries.
Meanwhile, Selangor Socio-Economic Empowerment and Development, and Caring Government Committee chairman V Ganabatirau said the programme is in line with the state government’s plan to reduce the unemployment rate in the country.
“The state government supports the learning institutions and private firms’ efforts to feed the human capital demand in industries, as the gap is still wide compared to developed countries.
“Also, learning institutions have to align the module and co-curriculum of TVET to the global industry growth, as well as position them to be industry- driven,” he said in his speech.
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, the unemployment rate in Selangor in 2017 has reduced to 2.8% from 3.2% in 2016.