PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has kicked off the region's first accounting training excellence centre - the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) - that will offer students from Malaysia as well as the region to be qualified as chartered accountants.
It is a collaboration between ICAEW, TalentCorp Malaysia Bhd, Sunway-TES, Sunway Group and five accounting firms - BDO Malaysia, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC.
This is the first such public-private partnership in the region and supports the government's aim of establishing Malaysia as an education hub for Asean and provide the needed skilled talent to effect Malaysia's Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
Speaking at the launch, TalentCorp chief executive officer Johan Mahmood Merican said the initiative was in line with the Talent Roadmap 2020 and it would be a critical step in building a world-class workforce.
“In order to achieve this, we would need to reach the talent available in the region and through this partnership, it would ensure us to tap upon an elite group of individuals who wants to work in Malaysia and contribute to our economic transformation,” he said.
“Under the ETP, we want to create a cycle of having more investments attracting and retaining more talents which would further drive more investments to our economy,” Johan said
Business services makes up one of the ETP's 12 National Key Economic Areas and the accountancy sector has been identified as a business opportunity.
Sunway-TES director Lee Weng Keng said the programme would enable students from all over the region to be qualified as chartered accountants, offer career opportunities and increase the skills and talent pool in the country.
“Talentcorp would be the facilitator to get the employment pass for the international students to be able to work here,”he told StarBiz.
He expected other accounting firms, banks and businesses to participate as the programme matures, perhaps by next year.
“This year we are targeting to have 30 international students to participate in the programme and additional 70 by next year,” he added.
Lee noted that BDO had already recruited five students from Vietnam (2), Indonesia (2) and China (1).
Malaysia Institute of Accountants chief executive officer Ho Foong Moi told StarBiz that Malaysia currently faced a shortage of accountants.
“The need for accountants is in tandem with the economy growth and there is also a great demand for accountants in the region.
“We think this is a good initiative and we believe this would help to build a pool of accountants both in Malaysia as well as in the region,” she added.
ICAEW chief executive Michael Izza told reporters that Malaysia was chosen to be the training hub in region for ICAEW because of Sunway's track record to produce the best accounting students with six World Prize winners for individual papers so far.
“Besides the good track record, we also like with the support by various parties such as the educational institutions, employers and the government,” he added.