TalentCorp fosters ties between students and industry players

Mustapa giving the opening speech at the launch of TalentCorp’s industry-academia collaboration. Mustapa giving the opening speech at the launch of TalentCorp’s industry-academia collaboration.

Penang – In the spirit of producing industry-ready graduates, TalentCorp launched the industry-academia collaboration (IAC) for electrical and electronics (E&E) at the SEMICON Southeast Asia 2015 microelectronics exhibition in Bayan Lepas yesterday.

In partnership with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), the launch was officiated by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

“Producing industry-ready graduates ensures that young Malaysian talents are able to take advantage of the higher income opportunities and ensures industry players have a sustainable supply of talent to fuel their growth,” said Mustapa.

This IAC is part of TalentCorp’s initiatives which is meant to foster closer ties between industry and prospective students, particularly in sectors integral to the nation’s economic transformation programme.

TalentCorp CEO Johan Mahmood Merican said, “By mapping demand and identifying key industry players, we will be well positioned to facilitate initiatives that promote industry readiness of graduates.”

Employers and universities will work together to cater to employers’ different hiring strategies and specific talent needs as well as universities’ challenges and gaps. Some short-term measures include industry visits, structured internships, soft skills development, and coaching/mentoring sessions while long-term measures include train-the-trainers (lecturers) and curriculum embedment. Also present at the launch was MoE director of industry relations division Dr Arham Abdullah and MIDA CEO Datuk Azman Mahmud.

“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,” said Dr Abdullah.

Azman said that this move to improve the quality of human capital is vital to brand Malaysia as an attractive investment destination.

“This collaboration will further contribute to a steady supply of quality talents to drive the E&E sector forward,” he added.

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

Motorola Solutions Malaysia managing director Dr Hari Narayanan said, “For the electrical and electronics 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 electrical and electronics industry.

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).