In just one year since signing a partnership agreement with TWI Training and Examination Services, GIATMARA Malaysia (literal translation: grass roots knowledge movement of Malaysia) has been able to train and qualify over 130 instructors in basic and advanced welding skills. The partnership is one of the initiatives reinforcing the national idea of creating opportunity by providing first-class learning environments and offering continuous support for individual and life-long development.
Chief Executive Officer of GIATMARA Malaysia, Ms Meriyam Abd. Majid, visited TWI during October 2012 to report the success of the first phase of a Malaysian initiative to train and qualify a new generation of welders and fabricators.
The initiative to open up welding training across the country's 13 regions is part of the wider vocational development plan funded entirely by the Malaysian Government, which is providing new opportunities for the population, young and old, regardless of prior education or skill. The development plan, directed by GIATMARA, is addressing social barriers to education and training by providing specialist schools for skills development, working to international codes, standards and industry practice.
To ensure competence in its 33 welding centres, GIATMARA and TWI have structured a training programme beginning with extending the training and qualification of welding instructors. So far, the programme has seen 66 newly qualified instructors, 14 master welding instructors, 8 qualified in advanced processes following training at TWI technology centres in the UK, and 3 in management training. The first stage of the programme has also resulted in 48 instructors in painting inspection.
The next phase of the partnership will see TWI working with GIATMARA to create a 'Centre of Excellence' in Welding Technology in Malaysia with recognised professional certification, as well introducing the Welding Diploma and further skills training in plastics welding and painting inspection.
In regions largely driven by the oil and gas industry, GIATMARA welding centres have a current annual intake of around 2500 students, with examinations scheduled three times per year.� GIATMARA plans to double the number of students for 2013, and forecasts that each centre will see an increase in intake of around 20% year-on-year.
During her visit to TWI, Chief Executive Officer of GIATMARA, Ms Meriyam Abd. Majid said: "Already we can see the difference this partnership is making, both to individuals and in its potential impact on the Malaysian economy. Together with TWI we are up-skilling a new welding workforce to recognised international industry standards, and at the same time giving our workers confidence, opportunities and, above all, increased earning power."
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