Realising Human Capital Potential in Malaysia
Human capital—the knowledge, skills, and health that people accumulate over their lives—has been a key factor behind the sustained economic growth and poverty reduction rates of many countries over the past half-century, especially in Asia. Perhaps more so than any other factor, how nations develop their human capital can be a greater determinant of their long-term success. This is where Malaysia has an immense opportunity, as it is among the top two nations when it comes to human capital development in SEA, as per a World Bank Human Capital Index report.
Malaysia has highlighted the importance of a strong local workforce in supporting the country’s economic growth. Announced at this year’s budget, one of the key priorities for Malaysia is human capital development and the country is focused on empowering the local workforce with industrial capabilities and knowledge.
Companies have an educational mission
As communicated by our chairman and CEO in a recent blog, we believe that our investment in human capital needs to evolve and intensify for everyone’s benefit. A company can only be and remain innovative if it takes its role in education very seriously.
There are different ways to do this. We know the strength of the German model, with its apprenticeship programs for teenagers starting at age 14. A few years ago, the CEO of one of the largest German car manufacturing companies started out as an apprentice – demonstrating if need be that companies can train and foster talents, setting no limits on their ambition other than their own commitment and desire to learn.
Another method that we favour at Thales is to collaborate with academic ecosystems around the world. We support ecosystems with, of course, an aim of economic development, but above all for reasons relating to our most ambitious mission, which is of designing, developing and implementing technologies that will concretely improve the daily life of all, i.e. to make technology assist mankind.
Partnering with Government and Local Partners
Thales has been supporting Malaysia’s ambitions for over 40 years, building long-term partnerships with key industry partners and developing local talents.
A key joint venture that has recently bore fruit is that of the Thales and the Sapura Group partnership. Together, Sapura Thales Electronics (STE) employs over 150 dedicated, Malaysian employees committed to developing and strengthening the human capital of Malaysia.
Last week at LIMA, we were honoured to have the honourable Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad gracing the launch ceremony for the next generation Military VHF radio, which will be available for sale worldwide by Q3 2019. These radios were fully designed and developed in Malaysia with STE, making it a significant milestone that will go a long way in highlighting the country’s’ local industrial capabilities and knowledge.
This launch is a clear demonstration not only of our commitment to Malaysia’s human capital development but also how our expertise and solutions are aligned with the country’s ambitions.
We have been working closely with our key industry partners and customers to help deepen the skills and knowledge of the local workforce. In pursuing this goal, we have collaborated with the Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) and Warwick Manufacturing Group to create a Master of Science degree in International Technology Management for Defence and Security. This one-year programme will commence its first batch of students in April 2019.
Moving forward, we remain committed to working with the Government, STE and other local partners to help Malaysia realise its human capital potential and best serve the needs of the country.