Thursday, 10 October 2019

Importance of training, ‘ecosystem of excellence’

IN order to develop highly skilled, productive teams, the prescribed approach is the training of talents.
However, while the quality of training is incumbent on the quality of the trainer and modules, there is an important factor that determines the speed of learning — the ecosystem one is exposed to.
In sports, for example, it is common to see continued dominance of certain teams or countries. They continue to be the best and produce the best players. It is a tremendous advantage when you train on a daily basis with the best players.
This “ecosystem of excellence”, can be observed in daily development as well. For example, language skill is best developed in an environment where it is spoken correctly.
Careers are enhanced with highly-competitive and capable managers, peers and mentors. Businesses thrive when they have a competitive ecosystem of strong customers, suppliers, partners and a healthy supply of talents around them.
It’s true that practice makes perfect, but we have to practise things correctly, otherwise our practice will perfect a wrong method.
Last week, the government announced the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV 2030), to develop a holistic, all-inclusive economic ecosystem for Malaysia across all walks of society in high value, equitable distribution of prosperity and wealth. Seven strategic thrusts were introduced and the framework of SPV 2030 will be implemented in the upcoming 12th Malaysia Plan.
In a nutshell, the seven thrusts envision the framework for a fair and shared prosperity for Malaysians with key focus on higher participation of small and medium enterprises and micro businesses, and more technology penetration among manufacturing and services subsectors. This is followed by increased participation in key economic growth activities, human capital development, fair labour markets, social wellbeing, regional inclusion and social capital.
In this regard, the ecosystem of excellence comes into play. There needs to be a core economic activity, common to all, to ensure concepts are practised with space allowed to learn through the building of experience.
Remember, right talent and experience are important to ensure social upward mobility is created for more people.
The right experience trickles down through economic vehicles that grant access to meaningful participation in high-technology economy. This is where the mobility sector comes in as one of the providers of high-value ecosystem. While it may have relatively higher barriers of entry, they are no longer an issue of capital investment, but rather talent, experience and a touch of boldness to brave the future of high technology.
When the automotive sector was established around three decades ago, it created a higher value among local companies. While we had presswork factories, injection moulding and other basic manufacturers, they were limited to low tech and basic products that did not possess the demand and rigour of auto parts and components of the same base material.
Automotive products not only require precision in design and tooling, but must undergo severe test requirements before they can be approved for mass production. This demand elevated local businesses to a higher technical standard, breaking their glass ceiling in a way that was not possible if we were to stick to manufacturing conventional products.
Furthermore, a high-value ecosystem serves as a platform to boost those at the bottom of the social ladder. The growth of the industry creates openings to start new careers.
While they may start at the bottom, the depth of the automotive industry provides career paths that build experience, skills and most importantly, human capital value.
I have seen this first hand in the careers of numerous Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute’s Industry Led Professional Certificate graduates, who started as school leavers but now have strong skill-based careers.
They received national skills certification after gaining experience in automotive manufacturing and after-sales operations.
In conclusion, the mobility sector creates new opportunities for industry players seeking to break the glass ceiling of technological development.
The challenge of developing equitable prosperity and shared wealth begins with challenging our reservations and venturing into sectors that can only succeed through shared goals.
The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii)

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