KUCHING: The graduation of 579 Sarawakians from Institut Teknologi Petroleum Petronas (INSTEP), with its world-class technical education in oil and gas, is a big step forward for the state.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang said the way forward is to place emphasis on technical and vocational education to build up the fledgling market of expertise for the industry.
“Continue with this great effort to train more Sarawakian youths. If possible, increase the intake of students from rural areas,” said Jabu in his speech.
As an example, he added that his area Betong has 22 secondary schools which can provide a good source of Form Five school-leavers to be trained and then marketed into various industries in Malaysia or overseas.
“This is the potential of Sarawak. I am inspired to be in the company of clever, intelligent people,” added Jabu when speaking at the INSTEP 17th Convocation held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) yesterday.
Out of the total figure of graduates, 334 of them were able to attend their graduation with proud parents and family members present to witness.
They were among 1,700 trainees from 15 countries who have completed technical training under three portfolios of Bridging Programmes, Professional Development Programmes, and Assessment and Certification Services.
Meanwhile, Petronas Group Human Resource senior vice president Dato Raiha Azni Abd Rahman said it was committed to continuing their capacity building efforts to sustain an adequate pool of a skilled and competent workforce for the petroleum sector in Malaysia.
“The challenges for the oil and gas industry are immense, especially with the recent plunge of global oil prices,” she said.
Petronas has outlined a systematic plan in the field of education and human resource development in order to position Malaysia as a leading Oil and Gas Education and Learning Hub in the region.
INSTEP was established 34 years ago and undergone rapid expansion.
It was awarded international accreditation by Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) in 2014 and Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation (OPITO) in 2015, both large awarding bodies in United Kingdom.
It also won the Human Resource Minister Award for best training provider in Malaysia.