It goes without saying that the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) has reached our shores, demanding immediate adaptation and deployment to re-align the current and upcoming talent pool to fill positions within the industry that require quick access and capacity building to compete in the new era of connectivity.
The good news is – first, Industry 4.0 may be seen as an equaliser to global economy, as such disruptions to the way businesses of today are conducted will change, making the industrial revolution a problem not unique to any country, whether they are in advanced or developing stages.
Second and more importantly, our country has been responsive to adapting to changes – the National Policy for Industry 4.0 was a timely announcement and the applications and adoption of science and engineering within the society has been much debated in recent times.
At the core of any capacity building is the development of human talent. The underlying question, however, is the need to re-examine the way society perceives qualifications of talent to match one that is compliant and in line with Industry 4.0.
In a world where multi-disciplinary talent is ever more relevant, the recognition of different talent dimensions is important to ensure the workforce compositions are effective in implementing the appropriate Industry 4.0 strategies within businesses – be it management, creative, operational or administrative positions.
Furthermore, the emphasis of continuous learning – including opportunities to access it – becomes more and more pertinent. While in the olden days, new skills and learning were possible through raw experience alone, the rapid technology turnover rates seen today often create difficulty to acquire and adapt new skills, as access to technology infrastructure becomes scarce, due to budget or management constraints of individual businesses.
Herein, within the depths of hundreds of automotive and surrounding-sectors businesses, lie the strength of thousands of talented Malaysians with strong foundations in science, engineering and technology that can be moulded further into the talent that will take Malaysia’s economic value to global heights.
The first step in this process is the MARii (Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute) Academy of Technology – previously called the MAI Resource Centre – located in Bukit Beruntung, Selangor.
It has been the central location for MARii’s Human Capital Development programmes – IPC (Industry Led Professional Certificate), AICE (Automotive Industry Certificate Engineering) and other plans developed specifically to enhance the capabilities of those entering and currently working within the entire breadth of the automotive sector.
To ate, more than forty thousand Malaysians have joined the workforce or enhanced their careers after graduating from human capital development programmes conducted through the MARii Academy – focusing on key aspects that allow them to possess the needed competencies to deliver in a competitive environment.
To accelerate the development of Industry 4.0 compliance within Malaysian talent, programmes specific to technology adoption within Industry 4.0 will be introduced soon.
New IPC (industrial PC) curricula in the Internet-of-things, and smart Manufacturing and robotics will be introduced for those prone to take the skills career route.
At the same time, MARii is collaborating with Swinburne University of Technology to develop programmes for Advanced Diploma and Associate Degree in Industry 4.0.
Developed for university graduates and the current workforce, the programmes are structured within the working environment to deliver a continuous learning process based on real time experience, supplemented by practical training and solid concepts – based on learning principles in line withTechnical and Vocational Education and Training.
These programmes will equip graduates with strong and relevant technical knowledge and skills in additive manufacturing, smart manufacturing, process simulation, big data analytics and management, among others.
The MARii Academy of Technology will serve as an important centre in accelerating the adoption of technology from the human capital standpoint. Besides being a centre of knowlegde and skills, it is also be a place where learning is designed to be continous, relevant and in line with the current and future demands of the connected mobility sector.
The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii)