Steering Sabah students towards talent development hub in Batu Kawan

Juhar (centre) with Tio (third from right) during the tour of The Ship Campus in Batu Kawan. Joining them are Abdul Halim (third from left), Dr Amar (second from left) and other guests. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

THE Ship Campus in Batu Kawan is ready to broaden its horizons by reaching out to Sabah to recruit and provide the much sought after manpower for its surrounding industries.

PKT Logistics Group chief executive and managing director Datuk Seri Dr Michael Tio said by offering programmes to retrain students from Sabah, graduates would help alleviate labour shortage and provide new talents for industries such as the Batu Kawan Industrial Park (BKIP).

“We are having an acute shortage of labour and wouldn’t mind collaborating with Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) if it wants to send students to be retrained and placed into industries in Batu Kawan.

“With an array of facilities and accommodation available, Sabahan parents can be rest assured that their children will be placed in a secure and proper location to do their training for better jobs and higher pay within BKIP,” Tio said.

He added that The Ship campus was built to support BKIP’s growth in line with state and national agendas, with a vision that includes enhancing Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) education, boosting youth employment and nurturing talents.

Earlier, Tio hosted Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, who is also UMS chancellor, for a tour around the campus and its facilities.

The two-hour tour took guests through several interactive classrooms and meeting halls, the campus’ cafeteria, gymnasium overlooking the sea, assorted entertainment facilities as well as its multiple themed common areas both indoors and outdoors.

Describing the campus as being different and excellent, Juhar said he agreed that there would be higher employability for graduates there.

“I’ve been to many places but this is the first university with a different concept, and I’m very pleased and glad to have come.

“Maybe UMS can come here and have a look at its different facilities.

“It is a fantastic university and to me it is something very different. I’ve seen many universities and this is excellent.

“The possibility of the graduates here improving their employability would be much better,” he said after the tour.

Also present were Penang trade, industry and entrepreneur development committee chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain and Sungai Bakap assemblyman Datuk Dr Amar Pritpal.

The guests were later treated to a sumptuous lunch at the campus’ “grand promenade”, decked to resemble the interior of a cruise ship, before visiting its “sunset deck” overlooking the sea and the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge.

Costing RM160mil, the 306,419sq ft nautical-themed campus building aims to become a hub for talent development and entrepreneurship and at the same time, provide food and beverage as well as lifestyle facilities in the rapidly developing BKIP.

Boasting a capacity of 4,000 students across its nine decks, PKT’s education arm – Peninsula College Malaysia – is now headquartered at the site.

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