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PENANG, 25 June 2024 - Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in collaboration with the Department of Higher Education (JPT), Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE), hosted an exclusive Dialogue Session today, featuring the Minister of Higher Education, Dato' Seri Diraja Dr. Zambry Abdul Kadir, and Electrical and Electronic (E&E) Industry Partners.

The event aimed to facilitate discussions on the E&E sector's needs concerning talent supply and job offerings, seeking input and feedback from industry partners to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the industry.

This session is expected to be a significant milestone in fostering closer ties between MoHE and the E&E industry, contributing to Malaysia's economic growth and innovation.

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Zambry Abdul Kadir in his speech highlighted the Ministry's commitment to preparing future talents with advanced knowledge and skills necessary for the rapidly evolving E&E industry, particularly in semiconductor technology.

He emphasised the alignment of the E&E sector with global trends, the current Malaysian E&E ecosystem, and MoHE's initiatives in talent development.

"MoHE has launched several initiatives to align university graduates' skills with industry standards and improve employability. These include the MOHE Research Industry Innovation Incubation (MRI3), the Structured Industry Apprenticeship Programme (SIAP) for integrated circuit design, and the MOHE Intel Elite Internship Programme," he stated.

He also mentioned other programmes like PENJANA KPT-CAP, the Teaching Factory Programme, the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Transformation Programme, and flexible micro-credential programmes aimed at increasing graduate employability through exposure to high-end facilities and current job market demands.

"This dialogue serves as an excellent platform to better understand the challenges in the E&E industry, particularly in semiconductor technology, allowing MOHE to strategize support for future talents, academic programmes, and R&D activities for postgraduate programmes," he added.

Meanwhile, USM Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato’ Seri Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed, in his welcoming address underscored the importance of close collaboration between public universities and the industry to produce talents with relevant knowledge and skill sets.

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He highlighted the efforts of the Consortium of E&E led by USM and the MoHE Research and Industry-Infused Incubator (MRI3), which play pivotal roles in training industry-ready talents.

"Currently, over 900 students from across Malaysia are registered in the MRI3 portal, with more than 500 slots available in 30 industries," he said.

He expressed gratitude to industry players for supporting academia in industry-ready talent development through enhanced educational curricula; state-of-the-art facilities and hands-on training opportunities; and R&D collaboration.

"Let us build upon our successes and continue to shape the next chapter of Malaysia's semiconductor journey,” Abdul Rahman concluded.

The event also featured a mock cheque handover ceremony from industry partners to USM, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), and Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) to commemorate a strategic partnership between industries and higher education institutions in developing future talents.

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Also present were the Member of the Penang State Executive Council (Rural Department, Trade and Entrepreneurship Development), Rashidi Zinol; Deputy Secretary-General (Policy) MoHE, Dato' Dr. Haji Megat Sany Megat Ahmad Supian; Director-General of Higher Education JPT, Professor Dr. Azlinda Azman; USM Board of Governors Chairman, Dato’ Seri Dr. Awang Adek Hussin; vice-chancellors of the public universities and esteemed industry delegates and partners.

Text: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi/Photo: Mohd Fairus Md Isa

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