By Ida Nadirah Ibrahim
ADVANCEMENTS in technology have opened up employment opportunities that were traditionally unavailable to most people.
In the wake of Covid-19 and as more and more people lose their jobs, the Selangor government has embarked on an opportune chance to upskill and reskill its workforce and help individuals rise to their potential.
On April 13, the state administration, through the Selangor Technical Skills Development Centre (STDC), formed a strategic partnership with Malaysian-based drone services company Aerodyne Group (Aerodyne) to develop specialised skills training for job seekers, focusing on developing drone and data experts in the state.
Much like the Selangor government, Aerodyne hopes to see more quality talent in the field.
Speaking to Selangor Journal, its founder and chief executive officer Kamarul A Muhamed (pic) shares how the company plans to play a part in creating more skilled talents in the DT3 — drone tech, data tech and digital transformation — industry.
Malaysia has no lack of talent in many specialised fields but is in shortage of multi-skilled individuals who
can meet the demands of the tech industry.
Kamarul said Aerodyne aspires to create more such talent and to help transform Malaysians from being tech users to tech creators who can design products for the overseas market.
“The jobs of the future are different compared to previous specialised jobs. People are now required to be able to connect the dots and solve problems.
“We don’t need deep subject matter expertise … basically what we need are talented individuals who can understand what the problem is and find a solution,” he said.
Unfortunately, Kamarul said the current work pool produced by the country’s educational institutions is not yet ready for the industry and that the local syllabus has not caught up with the future’s requirements.
On the right track
The idea for Aerodyne — which has operated across 35 countries — to work with the Selangor government came about when it noticed the scarcity of talent in Malaysia.
“One of our aspirations from the collaboration with the Selangor government and STDC is to produce more talents to suit the future’s needs. So what we are doing now is to have our trainers train the existing trainers at STDC so that they will be able to train the next batch of talents required for the industry,” said Kamarul.
“Next, we will focus on what skills are needed.”
Kamarul admitted that it is difficult to penetrate the local market but is hopeful that with the collaboration — the first tie-up it has made with any government in Malaysia — technology can be grown locally.
“We are looking into working together with the state in various areas such as smart city, data technology and artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
“But we need world-class talent and for now, that is quite limited. So our aim now is to bring in experts from across the world so that we can grow the technology here,” he said.
Kamarul commended the state government’s digitalisation agenda and said he looks forward to working together in managing Selangor’s natural resources, assets and infrastructure. “I applaud the state’s vision.
Selangor is on the right track and we look forward to being able to assist the state based on our global experience in this space,” he said.
Exporting to the world
Focusing on the DT3 industry, Kamarul said that the company will first look into developing expertise in drone technology, which goes beyond the designing of drones.
“If we can train people who not only can build but modify drones, these are the people who will be needed in the industry,” he said.
“The second is data technology. We need expertise in data and this includes knowledge in big data analytics and using AI.
If we succeed in this, we will be able to export (our products).” Kamarul said the upskilling process of the talent pool will focus on four main sectors — agriculture, power, geospatial, and drone technology.
“Back then, people would say these sectors have no value. But now those who understand all this will know they will be in high demand.
“That is what our programme is about with STDC. The trainer will train trainers on multiple skills in our business, in four or five verticals, from different engineering spaces,” he said, adding that a six-month programme would be sufficient to impart the necessary skills and knowledge.
This article first appeared in the Selangor Journal monthly May edition, published on May 3, 2021.