GEORGE TOWN: There is a shortage of qualified engineers suitable for the crucial role of overseeing construction projects and infrastructure development works, according to the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM).
IEM president Datuk Lim Chow Hock told StarBiz that there were only about 150,000 experienced engineers in Malaysia.
“We are still short of 50,000 to meet the requirement in the construction and infrastructure sectors. The experienced engineers are needed in the consultation and management departments,” he said.
Lim added that the demand for consultation and management engineers for government construction and infrastructure projects would mitigate the impact of the slowdown taking place in the construction industry.
“About 70% of our members are engineers in the development and construction sectors.
“They can easily be reabsorbed to play consultation and management roles for government projects,” he said.
Lim added that about 30% of the members were involved in the electrical, electronic, and mechanical engineering industries.
The IEM currently has about 43,000 members.
On the quality of the local engineering graduates, Lim said that there was concern on quality because a study done three years ago by IEM revealed that the local engineering graduates lacked certain fundamental understanding of engineering principles.
“This is affecting their ability to execute their duties effectively. This was the feedback from most of the employers in the manufacturing, construction, and development sectors.
“We have recently submitted a paper on our findings to the Higher Education Ministry. We are proposing for the engineering curriculum in universities to be revamped,” he added.
On the forthcoming Asean Federation of Engineering Organisations, Lim said the annual event would be held in Penang from Nov 23 to 26 at the Hotel Equatorial.
“The last time Malaysia played host to Cafeo was in 2005,” he said.
Lim added that he Cafeo was a conference covering essential issues such as engineering education, energy, transportation, environment, and natural disaster risk management.
“We are expecting some 1,200 engineers from Asean and Asia Pacific countries to attend the event.
“Some 50 papers will be presented during the four-day event,” he added.