Professor Dr. Noor Azizi Ismail (third from the left) delivering a RM1 million mock cheque for the ICoE Maritime Cluster to Professor Datuk Dr. Nor Aieni Hj Mokhtar (third from the right).

UNIVERSITI Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) has been named the lead university for the Industry Centre of Excellence (ICoE) Maritime Cluster, which was recently officiated in Kuala Terengganu.

The establishment of the ICoE is an initiative of the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) to ensure that graduates of higher learning institutions meet market demands in the maritime sector.

MoHE is fully supportive of the implementation of Malaysia Shipping Master Plan 2017-2020 in providing sufficient human resources in the development of ship repair and ship building industry through the establishment of the centre.

As the lead university, UMT is working together with Technology Depository Agency (TDA) as the lead agency and two other industry players Destini Berhad and Port of Tanjung Pelepas as lead industries.

Speaking at the officiation ceremony, MoHE’s Department of Higher Education deputy director-general Professor Dr. Noor Azizi Ismail said through structured industrial training and professional certificates, more graduates would be ready with high technical skills that can be fit in the maritime sector. “With innovation and creative use of technology and through technology sharing with maritime industries, this sector would be able to move quickly.

“It is also hoped that with the existence of the ICoE, issues and challenges faced in the marketability of Malaysian graduates in the maritime industry would be reduced. In addition, the percentage of national employment amongst university graduates could also be increased to 80 percent. In order to achieve this target, we have allocated RM1 million to support activities that can nurture our graduates with relevant training and skills,” he added.

Noor Azizi was representing MoHE secretary general Tan Sri Dr. Noorul Ainur Mohd Nur at the event.

During the ceremony, UMT also signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with TDA, Destini Berhad and Port of Tanjung Pelepas as the commitment of collaboration to implement the ICoE together.

Earlier, vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr. Nor Aieni Mokhtar said that the appointment of UMT as a leader in the maritime cluster ICoE was in recognition of its expertise as a leading national institution in the field of maritime and marine, great teaching facilities and degree programmes that are recognised by local and international accreditations, high percentage of PhD holders’ in the maritime and marine cluster, and its offer of reserve officer training units (ROTU) Navy as one of the extra curricular activities.

Meanwhile, TDA’s chief executive officer Datuk Zailani Safari said that the maritime industry in Malaysia can be developed rapidly if ICoE Maritime Cluster is given full support by the Industrial Collaboration Programme (ICP).

“With the collaboration between UMT and TDA, there are numerous ICP projects in the pipeline,” he said.

He believed that many young graduates would enjoy working in the maritime industry.

During the ceremony, a forum entitled Industry Revolution 4.0: Academia-Industry Synergy to Enhance Maritime Industry and Graduate Employability was moderated by Nor Aieni along with a panel discussion with industry experts; Datuk Zailani Safari (TDA), Associate Professor Dr. Arham Abdullah (MoHE) and the Association of Marine Industries of Malaysia (AMIN) honorary secretary Nazery Khalid.

The forum was participated by 200 industry partners, academician, students and local universities.

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