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Government's upskilling and reskilling programme boosts drone economy

New Straits Times logo New Straits Times 7/1/2021 Nuradzimmah Daim
a group of tall buildings: With endless potential in the drone economy, youths should have more exposure of the industry at school-level through STEM education. - File pic © Provided by New Straits Times With endless potential in the drone economy, youths should have more exposure of the industry at school-level through STEM education. - File pic

KUALA LUMPUR: The government's upskilling and reskilling initiative launched under the Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) has given a boost to the drone economy, with huge potential in producing skilled workforce.

These efforts were the focus of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today when he attended a briefing at SG Academy, an upskilling and reskilling centre under the SG Education Group (SGEG).

The group is an accredited training provider for drone economy-related courses under the Social Security Organisation's (Socso) Penjana Kerjaya programme.

SGEG founder Datuk Seri P. Ganes said the drone economy was not only limited to device operations, but included maintenance, data platform development and consultancy.

However, he lamented the limited teaching resources for the technology in Malaysia.

"We want to produce more skilled workers who are also innovators and able to create borderless employment, allowing people to work abroad.

"Public-private partnership is one of the ways to address this and equip local youths with the necessary skills for this purpose.

"There is also a need to relook at a proposed specific law governing drone industry (mooted last year), which has huge potential in various sectors including security and surveillance, and agriculture," he said after Muhyiddin's visit to SG Academy here today.

He said these efforts were in line with the country's aspiration under the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0).

Ganes said the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) was in the midst of reviewing the draft of the law as it involved many sectors.

"I have also proposed an establishment of (a government) agency to develop drone technology in Malaysia. The matter was highlighted to the prime minister during his visit here," Ganes said.

He said youths should have more exposure of the industry at school-level through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

One of the course participants was Deveness Rao Pragaisrow, a former AirAsia's senior first officer.

"Having work experience in the aviation industry, I only have basic knowledge about drones. The course helped me improve my knowledge and I am hopeful to secure a job in this sector soon," he said.

SGEG has successfully trained more than 70 participants under the Penjana Kerjaya scheme, and all of them have been employed.

The academy is the first TVET institute to offer drone skill certificate programme for Level 2 Drone Piloting H512-001-3: 2019 and Level 3 Drone Mission Commanding H512-001-3: 2019 under the National Occupational Skills Standards (NOSS), which was co-created with CAAM.

The Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), which was established in 2001, has also trained 80 participants in the field, and they have been hired by companies such as Asia Drone and IoT Technologies, Dronology, Malvus and Sonic Films.

The government allocated RM2 billion for the Penjana upskilling and reskilling programme which offers free courses for 200,000 jobless and retrenched youths as a result of downsizing exercises by companies affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

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