The Regional Corridor Development Authority (RECODA) today joined the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research (MESTR), Wenan Steel (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and the Department of Skills Development (JPK) Sarawak in an online meeting to brief education institutions on job opportunities in the steel industry.
China-based Wenan Steel is investing into a steel manufacturing plant in the Samalaju Industrial Park in Bintulu, which is expected to be operational by 2024. The plant, the largest of its kind in Malaysia, is expected to have a production capacity of 10 million tonnes per annum and employ up to 4,000 people at various stages.
Today’s meeting, hosted by MESTR, was to provide early awareness to institutions on potential future workforce requirements of the steel industry, as Wenan Steel’s project is already in progress.
“In the steel industry, we generally welcome all sorts of skilled workers, who may specialise in automation or even accounting,” said Wenan Steel Managing Director Gao Wei.
“The investment of the steel plant will contribute to the local economic, social and industrial development. Based on its expected dominant position in the steel industry chain, we expect to attract high technical talents and ambitious investors, and help accelerate Malaysia’s industrial growth,” he said.
The site of the plant is currently undergoing earthworks, which is expected to be completed by March next year, added Gao Wei.
Attending the briefing were representatives from institutions that included Advanced Technology Training Center (ADTEC) Bintulu, Sarawak Skills (PPKS), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Centre of Technical Excellence (CENTEXS), Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, Mukah Polytechnic, Kuching Polytechnic and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Bintulu Campus.
Wenan Steel, which will utilise continuous casting in its steel-making process, will need technical specialists, industrial machinists, plant maintenance mechanics and special skills related to the steel-manufacturing sector.
Also required are electrical & electronics, mechanical and chemical engineers as well as chemists, in addition to administrative staff.
MESTR and the Department of Skills Development, under the Ministry of Human Resources Malaysia, also updated attendees on the National Occupational Skills Standards (NOSS) relevant to the steel industry as well as requirements for vocational training and upskilling programmes that may cater to the steel manufacturer’s workforce requirements.
RECODA’s role, meanwhile, is to facilitate engagement and collaboration between industry and institutions in order to match the workforce requirements of the industry.
“Our part is to help plan, collaborate and administer programmes to upskill and reskill industry workers, particularly within the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) region,” said RECODA Facilitation and Coordination Manager Khairina Dawek.
In addition to drawing investment to SCORE and creating job opportunities for Sarawakians, RECODA is also tasked with implementing infrastructure and socio-economic development projects.