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Industry-Academia Collaboration For E&E Sector Launched By MITI Minister

PENANG, 22 April 2015 — The Minister of International Trade and Industry YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed today launched the Industry-Academia Collaboration (IAC) initiative for the Electrical & Electronics (E&E) sector, at the SEMICON Southeast Asia (SEA) 2015 microelectronics exhibition in Bayan Lepas.

A partnership between Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad (TalentCorp), the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MoE) and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), the IAC for E&E sector has the objective to catalyse greater industry academia collaboration across all priority clusters of the E&E sector, towards producing industry ready graduates.

The IAC initiative launched today focuses on the E&E sector and will be extended going forward to cover other priority sectors, particularly those integral to the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed said, “Producing industry-ready graduates ensures that young Malaysian talents are able to take advantage of the higher income opportunities arising from the economic transformation and at the same time, ensures Malaysia’s industry players have a sustainable supply of talent to fuel their growth and investments.”

Under Budget 2015, RM30 million was allotted under TalentCorp to boost Industry-Academia Collaboration to encourage universities, Government entities and industries to work together towards producing industry ready graduates including developing sector-specific curriculums for short courses, electives and industrial training. 

TalentCorp’s Chief Executive Officer, Johan Mahmood Merican, said, “The launch of the IAC marks a more coordinated approach for the E&E sector to act as a community to collaborate with universities specialising in the industry’s key technology clusters. By mapping demand and identifying key industry players, we will be well positioned to facilitate initiatives that promote industry readiness of graduates.”

According to Associate Professor Dr Arham Abdullah, the Director of Industry Relations Division at the Ministry of Education Malaysia, “As outlined in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education), we need to move from academia operating in isolation to the quadruple helix of academia, industry, Government, and local communities coming together in partnership for the incubation, development, and commercialisation of ideas. When all parts of the puzzle work together, the outcome is positive – Malaysia will have the best-skilled talent in the best jobs.” 

Dato' Azman Mahmud, the Chief Executive Officer of MIDA, explained, “At a time when Malaysia is facing competitive challenges for foreign direct investments, it is vital that we are able to maintain our attractiveness as an investment destination through the quality of our human capital. The IAC will complement other initiatives in ensuring existing and future investors that Malaysia has the requisite talent for investments in high technology, knowledge-based industries. This collaboration will further contribute to a steady supply of quality talents to drive the E&E sector forward.” 

This view was echoed by key multinational companies already based in Malaysia. 

Dr Hari Narayanan, Managing Director of Motorola Solutions Malaysia said, “For the E&E industry to continue to thrive and move up the value chain, it requires a greater number of talent with new skill sets. Through the IAC, all stakeholders will now be able to have a comprehensive approach to identify and formulate new initiatives to address these talent issues.”
The pilot initiative will see 14 leading employers partner with nine public universities to address skill gaps within seven key technology clusters in the E&E industry. These are Integrated Circuit Design, Embedded System, Wireless Communications (Radio Frequency), Wafer Fabrication, Opto/LED, Solar and Advanced Manufacturing. 

The employers and universities will work together on both short-term and long-term interventions to cater to employers’ different hiring strategies and specific talent needs as well as universities’ challenges and gaps. Some of the short-term measures include industry visits, structured internships, soft skills development, and coaching/mentoring sessions. Meanwhile, long-term measures include Train-the-Trainers (lecturers) and curriculum embedment. 

The 14 employers taking part are Intel, Altera, Motorola, NI, Keysight, Avago, Silterra, Infineon, Osram, Philips Lumileds, First Solar, Sunpower, AMD and B Braun. Meanwhile, the identified universities are Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UNIMAP), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). 
 

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