Embracing technology in the new normal a crucial aspect

AirAsia group is using its training school, Redbeat Academy, to help train a workforce. Redbeat Academy is a collaboration between airasia Digital and Google Cloud.

PETALING JAYA: From training pilots to cabin crew, Redbeat Academy has gone a notch further to offer reskilling and upskilling courses for those who want to remain relevant in the ever changing digitalised world.

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way people work, play and live and the onslaught of the Fourth Industrial Revolution has made the internet more important than ever.

But the problem that lies ahead is the shortage of tech talent.

The demand for data science and information security analysts, cloud architects, database administers, software developers, artificial intelligence specialists and IT managers is ever growing.

To cater to this shortage, many learning institutions and universities and even corporate organisations are fast packaging programmes to capitalise on this training trend.

One such organisation is AirAsia group which is using its training school, Redbeat Academy to help train a workforce. Redbeat Academy is a collaboration between airasia Digital and Google Cloud.

During the MCO 1.0 (movement control order) Redbeat received over 1,200 applications for its programs for reskilling from within the group.

“Malaysia needs talent with skills not just certificates. We need it fast, we need it now, ’’ Redbeat Academy director of strategy and innovation Dr Ram Gopal told StarBiz in an email interview.

Ram said the Redbeat Academy trains anyone be it AirAsia group employees, corporates and small medium enterprise (SMEs), government agencies, universities and colleges or the public.

Tony Fernandes, CEO AirAsia Group at one of AirAsia Digital's Media Briefing - FilepicTony Fernandes, CEO AirAsia Group at one of AirAsia Digital's Media Briefing - Filepic

He believes the academy can help create over 100,000 talents in Malaysia to help bridge the gap in shortage of tech talents in the country.Ram said reskilling is quickly becoming the only means of salvation for many individuals made less effective by changes to the work landscape.

“Even before the pandemic, we had begun to see the rapid rise in demand for technology related jobs and the incessant decrease in demand for more traditional roles, ’’ he said.

To him, many organisations are already on the path to transforming themselves but within Asean there still remains a huge gap to close but it can be addressed via reskilling.

Redbeat’s plan is to empower, connect and develop tech talents and ensure that opportunities are available to everyone, especially in providing mentorship and ensuring the best breed of industry-ready professionals and tech problem-solvers can overcome the most difficult challenges.

“Redbeat Academy is the next generation of tertiary education. We give you what you need to succeed. Instead of spending four years in university, give us six months, ’’ he claims.

Some courses are free, others are chargeable and the pricing starts from RM150 per course/session.

But does it guarantee jobs after the courses?

He said the academy was working with WOBB Jobs to ensure that graduates have the best chance of changing careers and gaining tech employment. It is also working on programs offering micro credential badges with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

Is there really value in reskilling?

“There is definitely value in reskilling. The skills you obtain, the commercial usefulness of those skills, the demand for the knowledge that you have.

“It is an investment, and investing in yourself and your future is the best kind there is, ’’ Ram said.

But tech is often seen challenging and even intimidating to some and it also does create fear in some.

“I have seen many students who think they can’t do it because they do not have any tech background, and currently are completing their tech paths such as cyber security, data analyst and other tech paths, ’’ Ram said.

It is no longer about who should do it but it has come to the point that it is vital or be prepared to be left out of a progressive workforce. Embrace tech can also open new opportunities for many.

Ram believes everyone should keep up with the latest technology and trends to stay ahead of the technology curve as “redundancy not only affects individuals and occupations but organisations as well.’’

For the country to progress ahead through the technology curve, a critical mass of talent is needed.

“Human capital constraints are Malaysia’s biggest barrier to fully developing the digital economy, ’’ he said.

Citing parts of the World Bank report, he said, “Malaysia’s education system has not been successful in preparing adequate numbers of graduates for its high-tech export industries, let alone the increasing demands of the digital economy.’’

He believes, beyond reskilling, consistent upskilling is the norm for anyone looking to stay relevant.

“Tech stacks come and go, which means upskilling is a career long endeavor rather than a one off. One of the keys to success is to never stop learning and the process of upskilling is precisely that.’’ he adds.

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