Monday, August 13, 2007

Move to create major outsourcing hub

PENANG: Malaysia must strive to become South-East Asia’s biggest outsourcing hub, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“Nowadays, nobody builds things from start to finish. Everybody is looking to outsource.

“We must empower our labour force with the necessary knowledge and skills so that they can become value-added workers capable of operating modern machines and are adept in the latest technologies,” he said when opening the Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi Mara (KKTM) Balik Pulau here yesterday.

The Prime Minister said a highly skilled labour force would give investors the confidence to set up operations in Malaysia.

“I believe that one day, the country’s skilled labour will be even more than the number of engineers in the country.

“Parents and teachers should encourage our youths to upgrade their skills because this will lead to higher income,” Abdullah said.

Also present at the event were Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, Entrepreneur and Co-operative Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Finance Ministry parliamentary secretary and Balik Pulau MP Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahya and Mara director-general Datuk Nam Marthinin.

In his speech, Mohamed Khaled said this was the country’s third KKTM.

“The Government has already approved the setting up of nine more colleges which are in various stages of development. By the end of the Ninth Malaysia Plan, five new colleges would have been completed,” he said, adding that the KKTM Balik Pulau building and technologically advanced equipment were set up at a cost RM152mil.

The minister also noted that skills training provided by the college should not be perceived as “secondary” to academic education.

“Skills training is an alternative, not a ‘second chance’ option,” he said.

SOURCE: The Star Online > Nation

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