IT’S BEEN a constant complaint by employers that local graduates are not equipped with the required skills needed to join the workforce.
This is despite the Government carrying out various initiatives to solve the issue of local graduates not being industry-ready.
Now, the Higher Education Department is taking another crack at fixing the industry’s dilemma.
Education Ministry Higher Education Department Industry Relations Division director Prof Dr Arham Abdullah says the Academia Industry Expert Exchange Programme (Aixpert) is part of the ministry’s efforts to create graduates who meet the needs of the industry.
“The industry has said that there is some gap that the students we produce are not meeting its needs,” he adds.
“This is to exchange the experts from universities to the industries, and experts from the industries to the universities,” he says after attending the launch of the MoE-Intel Elite Internship Programme last week.
“The ministry has created a platform for the industry and universities to work together.”
He says that 30 industry experts will be part of the programme when it is officially launched after the project has been piloted.
“The experts will be appointed by the minister (Dr Maszlee Malik) for one or two years on contract,” he says of the programme that was introduced this year.
“The experts will spend about 20 to 30 hours throughout their appointment, depending on their availability since they are also working,” he says.
Prof Arham says that at the same time, the research talent at local universities will also share their expertise with the industry.
He says that having the lecturers be part of the industry will allow them to learn the latest technologies currently being used by the industry.
“So, they will be able to teach the latest technologies to their students when they come back (to the university),” he adds.
Prof Arham said that Aiexpert, together with CEO@Faculty Programme 1.0 and 2.0, is part of the ministry’s Academia-Industry Talent Exchange Programme (Aixchange).
The CEO@Faculty programme has had 72 top chief executive officers (CEO) engaging and sharing their leadership expertise with universities and their students from 2015 to 2018.
This has happened through public lectures, sharing their experiences and creating new programmes together, he adds.
Prof Arham says the difference between Aiexpert and CEO@Faculty is that Aiexpert focuses on exchanging knowledge and expertise between the industry and academia.
“Whereas CEO@Faculty focuses on leadership and character building,” he explains.
Earlier during his keynote speech at the launch of the internship programme, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the MoE-Intel Elite Internship Programme is part of Aixpert.
“In order to make sure knowledge gained by students in universities, matches the requirements of their future employers, the ministry has been strongly promoting cross-industry collaborations,” he added.
A total of 100 students and 12 lecturers from six public universities will undergo the 10-week programme from June 24 until Aug 30.
Prof Arham has been appointed Universiti Malaysia Kelantan deputy vice-chancellor (Research and Innovation) effective June 15.
He takes over from Prof Datuk Dr Ibrahim Che Omar.