Google launches new initiatives to equip Malaysian youth with AI-focused, future-ready skills


These new initiatives are part of the strategic collaboration announced at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting in San Francisco last year, led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz. — Photo by JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP

KUALA LUMPUR: Technology giant Google today announced two initiatives to equip Malaysian youth with future-ready skills focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and to enhance public service delivery with the help of cloud-native, AI-driven productivity tools, a move in alignment with Malaysia’s MADANI Economy Framework.

Google said the first initiative involves collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) to upskill local youth from diverse backgrounds by providing 161 public universities, polytechnics, and community colleges in Malaysia with up to 500 Google Career Certificate scholarships each until the end of 2024.

"Designed by Google experts, the nine Google Career Certificates span fields like cybersecurity, data analytics, and IT support. They can be completed within three to six months through flexible, self-paced online training, with no prior experience required,” Google said in a statement.

This strategic initiative with MOHE marks a significant expansion of Gemilang, the digital training programme launched by Google in 2022 to help more Malaysians acquire digital skills – at no cost – for jobs in high-demand technology fields, it added.

Since its launch, Gemilang has already provided 31,000 Google Career Certificate scholarships to benefit individuals in Malaysia, with 80% of certificate graduates reporting a positive career outcome, such as a new job, promotion, or salary raise within six months of completion.

Meanwhile, the second initiative involves Jabatan Digital Negara to embark on a strategic initiative to deploy Google Workspace for 445,000 public officers.

The move would, for instance, help public officers accelerate policy development, budget planning, and public consultations by allowing them to work together on tasks without switching between tools, easily find information across internal document repositories using Google-quality search capabilities, and leverage other embedded AI tools to streamline workflows and facilitate data-driven decision-making.

Google Workspace brings together the AI-powered applications used by over three billion users such as Gmail, Chat, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Meet into a single integrated workspace, with built-in enterprise-grade access management, device management, data protection, and data encryption.

These new initiatives are part of the strategic collaboration announced at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting in San Francisco last year, led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

Google's global head of government affairs and public policy, Karan Bhatia, said this is a significant step toward creating inclusive growth opportunities for more Malaysians and strengthening the country’s digital advancement. He said as governments around the world consider how they can make the most of the AI opportunity, Malaysia is embracing technology as a key driver of national competitiveness and spearheading secure and responsible AI adoption in the public sector.

"These initiatives have the potential to transform the way services are delivered for the benefit of all Malaysians while working to equip people with the digital skills they need,” he added.

Malaysia's fast-growing digital economy is set to account for more than 25 per cent of the country’s total economic output by 2025, with the potential to reach up to US$70 billion in gross merchandise value by 2030, fuelling a surge in demand for digital skills.

Proactive efforts to expand the accessibility of digital skills are therefore essential for creating inclusive growth opportunities for all Malaysians.

Google said training programmes to bridge the digital talent gap have the potential to unlock an additional RM87.8 billion in economic value for the country by 2030. – Bernama

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