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November 25, 2010

Picking an educational path that gives better job opportunities

By VANES DEVINDRAN
vanes@thestar.com.my

THE reality of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score) development has apparently sunk in among students in Kuching.

This is evident in those who have streamlined themselves towards careers in demand in Score.

Lai: The trade is interesting to me and I know it is in demand in Score.

Take for example Lai Woei Ping, who completed his Upper Six education at SMK Matang Jaya recently.

He said he aspired to pursue a career in electrical and electronic engineering.

“The trade is interesting to me and I know it is in demand in Score,” said the 19-year-old who is the eldest of three siblings.

Having a penchant for Physics, Lai believes it is important to pick a career that will give one the potential to be hired.

Like other students, he faced the same worry of whether he would be employable.

He turned to the Internet to keep himself updated with the changes occurring in the state and the world.

“I enjoy going online as all the information I need is available at the click of the mouse. I keep track of what’s new through the Internet. It helps a lot,” he said.

Lai said his next step was to get into Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).

Sarawak’s manpower needs in the various categories in Score by 2030 was estimated at 43,527 in the professional group, 82,094 in the engineering and technical group, 216,881 in the semi-skilled group and 493,460 in the non-skilled group.

Sarawak has 78 technical and vocational training institutes offering various forms of technical training covering electronics, manufacturing, construction, agriculture, poultry, livestock farming, plantations and tourism.

The state engaged 50 academic staff and researchers from Unimas and officers of the Human Resource Department in the Chief Minister’s Office about a year ago to do a comprehensive study on the manpower requirement in Score.

The study looks into job specifications for the 10 priority industries in Score from now to 2030.

The 10 priority industries in Score are oil-based, aluminium, metal-based including steel, nickel and zinc, glass, tourism, palm oil, timber-based including pulp and paper, livestock, fishing and aquaculture, and marine engineering including ship building and the construction of oil rigs.