Archive for the ‘Industry 4.0’ Category

Preparing for Industry 4.0 with leadership skills

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

HOW prepared are you and your business for an uncertain and surprising future?

In today’s complex global business environment, disruption and change are constant.

Development in digital technology is driving exponential changes in the global business environment, leaving business leaders with the need to acquire new skills, thinking and behaviour.

At Oxford University, Industry 4.0 is not a technological issue, but a leadership issue that demands new ways of thinking and behaving.


Hence, the introduction of the new Oxford Leadership 4.0 Immersive Learning Lab, a collaboration between Saïd Business School, Oxford University, and K-Pintar. The programme aims to build the capabilities and skills of Malaysians and Asean business leaders and to respond to adaptive changes in a complex and fast-changing environment.

According to Saïd Business School Corporate Executive Education director Dr Elaine Heslop, the learning lab is a dynamic and immersive process that supports leaders from Malaysia and Asean as they navigate the leadership challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).

She said the lab provided a place to question assumptions and build a deeper understanding of how you can develop and guide your organisation for competitive advantage.

“This provocative and intellectually rich programme leverages the expertise of the Oxford University to deepen your understanding of the megatrends and emergent movements that are set to change the future of corporations,” she added.

The learning lab consists of a five-day residential module at Oxford Saïd’s executive education facilities in Oxford, United Kingdom designed to equip senior business leaders with the knowledge and capability to move away from traditional notions of hierarchical leadership. It allows them to be more agile and resilient leaders, and make organisations less vulnerable to critical changes in the wider business and social context.

Participants will be encouraged to reflect and build a greater awareness of the unique attributes of humans as leaders in the digital economy.

Heslop said through the learning lab, the module would prepare one to engage with the following:

WHAT does it mean to be human in the context of the future of work?

HOW do we build and lead organisations in an Industry 4.0 world?

WHAT does firm success look like and how does it occur in Malaysia today, and how will that change?

WHAT do leaders do in this emerging context — mindset, power and authority, collaboration, team?

“The lab marks a new direction in our executive practice at Oxford. We are delighted to be working with colleagues across Malaysia, a burgeoning economy in the world, on how to engage and confront the new challenges posed by 4IR.

“Our faculty has renowned experts and researchers in their specialist subjects and will provide one with access to leading-edge thinking, bringing complex ideas and questions to life,” said Leadership 4.0 Immersive learning Lab for Corporations academic director Professor Dr Marc Ventresca.

The lab will be led by Ventresca and Heslop. It will be delivered through a combination of interactive classes, discussion, group work and facilitation.

The faculty from Saïd Business School will be joined by academics, practitioners and business leaders with relevant insights.

Over the past 15 years, Heslop has worked with a wide range of leading organisations to architect and deliver transformational change programmes.

She has a particular interest in organisational design, the role of play in executive education, and the design of leadership interventions at scale.

Dr. Andrew White (fifth from left) and R.A. Thiagaraja (fourth from left) at the launch the Oxford Leadership 4.0 Immersive Learning Lab for Corporations recently. PIC BY EIZAIRI SHAMSUDIN

As director, she is responsible for the portfolio of clients that the school delivers throughout the world. Heslop’s team works with Oxford Saïd’s Faculty and Associate Fellows to create tailored programmes to meet the needs of individual organisations.

On the other hand, Ventressa’s research and teaching focuses on innovation, institutions and infrastructure. It involves empirical projects of organisational strategy and economic sociology in growing markets.

The learning journey progresses from why the questions matter and exploring what they mean in an Asean, networked, and 4IR context, to how organisations and leaders can best respond to and convert challenge into opportunity.

Saïd Business School at Oxford University Executive Education associate dean Dr Andrew White said in the wake of 4IR, fresh graduates are less than likely to see longevity in their first job and will have to re-invent themselves in line with the technological changes around them.

“I forsee that their first jobs will not last long. What young graduates are going to learn is how they reinvent themselves as life and technology around them change,” said White.

On corporates’ ability to retain their millennial talents, he added that larger organisations will have to be transformative and make their workplace interesting enough for young people to see a future.

“Some large companies are lazy, not that they are not working hard but they do the same things over and over again. The world is changing around them but they are not changing.

“You’ll find a lot like this, the more successful and bigger they are, the harder they find it to do something different,” he added.

White acknowledged that one of the reasons millennials leave companies is because they see no future there.

Participants will represent leading blue chip organisations from across general industry, and are expected to be C-Suite level influencers from leading Malaysian and Asean organisations.

Supported by the Human Resources Development Fund and the Great Britain Campaign, the programme, led by the Department for International Trade was especially developed in partnership with leading Malaysian training provider, K-Pintar.

By Zulita Mustafa.

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Embracing the fourth industrial revolution

Friday, January 26th, 2018
One of the aspects of the digital economy that TN50 must focus on is Artificial Intelligence to prepare the nation and youth for 4IR

THE 241-page report of the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects was recently released, and it points to a better world economy this year, with global economic growth expected to increase to 3.1 per cent.

The positive momentum, anticipated to continue for a few more years, is also forecast to be across the board, where emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs) are expected to do better than the rest of the world, where growth is projected at 4.5 per cent. The forecast for the Asian region, in particular, is that it will experience the fastest growth among other regions in the EMDE. This encouraging trend, according to the report, is due to some crucial factors, such as the recovery of global trade, investment, and manufacturing activities

Of course, this trend is not without its downside risks, as the report correctly pointed out. The risks, among others, are the issue of deep financial stress, the rise in geopolitical tensions, and an increase in protectionism. All these, might, depending on their nature and magnitude, threaten the growth and development of EMDEs in the near future. It is also dependent on how well the EMDEs anticipate and
respond, and how resilient and strong their economic fundamentals are when confronted with these risks.

The report also disclosed some worrying trends, where it sees the rate of growth of EMDEs to gradually slow down. The World Bank scenario suggests that the potential growth of EMDEs between now and 2027 may drop, on average, by 0.5 percentage points from the period of 2013 to 2017, and 0.9 percentage points below its average a decade ago. It also says, moving forward, a structural reform is necessary to offset this slowdown. One of the aspects of the reform is to improve the total factor productivity (TFP), which is the measure of output given the quantity of labour and capital.

Indeed, as far as boosting TFP is concerned, focusing on labour market reforms is paramount. It is also apparent that EMDEs have to find a new source of growth in the future as some analysts have argued that one of the reasons for the drop in TFP is the saturation of the information and communications technology (ICT) of the 1990s, which is the main source of their TFP growth. These are areas, which I think EMDEs have to prepare from now since the economic outlook is still good. We don’t know for sure for how long this is going to last.

Malaysia, in this regard, has made its move earlier. Under Vision 2020, Malaysia has reaped abundant opportunities from ICT, especially from the Internet. But, today, this may not be sufficient. To boost our TFP, we need to prepare for the inevitable fourth industrial revolution (4IR), which is basically about digital economy, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of things (IoT), cross border e-commerce, and many more.

This is what Transformasi Nasional 2050 (TN50) must emphasise on to prepare the nation and youth for the challenges of 4IR. The transformation has already started with the launch of the Digital Free Trade Zone last.

November, which is the first in the world outside China. This is testament to the government’s vision and long-term economic plans. The appointment of Alibaba Group executive chairman, Jack Ma as Malaysia’s digital economy adviser, is another milestone for Malay sia, and Malaysians must tap the vast expertise from him to grow and develop in this industry.

To date, there are more than 2,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) registered under this new platform, and there are many programmes and incentives provided, such as the Malaysia Tech Entrepreneur programme to build this industry further.

But, I believe it is the education sector which needs to play a crucial role in the future, as we need to build the right ecosystem for the growth of digital economy, including producing a talent pool of e-commerce entrepreneurs.

Last year, as part of the joint effort between the Higher Education Ministry and Alibaba Group Limited, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) and the Chinese Internet giant. (UUM) will be responsible for coordinating the joint effort which will benefit students in all public universities and polytechnics nationwide. Public universities and polytechnics will be offering programmes conducted with the collaboration of Alibaba Business School. UUM will also offer courses such as e-commerce, information technology, and big data.


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Embracing Industry 4.0

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018
Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh delivering his mandate at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre. pic by SADDAM YUSOFF
“We must be brave in order to change. We have been brave in redesigning our higher education system. And now, we will once again show that we are brave and innovative enough to change for Industry 4.0 and beyond.” — Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, Higher Education Minister

“Higher Education 4.0: Knowledge, Industry and Humanity” was the theme of the 2018 mandate from Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh as he called for a revamp of the higher education ecosystem in Putrajaya on Thursday.

A continuation of last year’s focus on redesigning higher education, the mandate looked at how higher education institutions in Malaysia are to remain relevant and competitive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).

“Last year, the ministry embarked on a year-long effort to better understand Industry 4.0 and its impact on higher education. What we found is that Industry 4.0 is the continuation of a journey achieved through advances in science and technology, and that each industrial revolution changes the way we live, work and interact with each other.

“With Industry 4.0, there is rapid change; volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity; and evolving jobs where the manual ones are being taken over by robots. But humans, with the advantage of flexibility, creativity and brain elasticity, will emerge as champions. Thus, education is key to facing these challenges,” Idris said during his presentation.

To address the challenges of Industry 4.0, he said the process of teaching and learning at higher education institutions must be changed.

He said different kinds of learning spaces and pedagogies were needed, such as heutagogy (self-determined learning), paragogy (peer-oriented learning) and cybergogy (virtual-based learning). Curriculum had to be fluid and organic, incorporating the latest learning and teaching technologies.

“The ministry will introduce a policy whereby all higher education institutions are allowed programmes with 70 per cent set subjects, while the remaining 30 per cent is open to content that is relevant to current trends.

“The implementation of 21st century pedagogy means classes need not be conducted through lectures (learning without lectures) and assessments need not be based solely on exams.”

This year, the ministry will implement the Professional Development Programme 4.0 for lecturers with the aim of having 30 per cent of all teaching and learning at public higher education institutions be aligned to Industry 4.0 by 2020. The Rethinking and Redesigning Higher Education Awards will be continued in 2018.

Idris said another move to address the challenges of Industry 4.0 was to have the industry and the academia act as one to fulfil industry and graduate needs.

“We don’t have to fear not having jobs as there will be new types of jobs created. The TVET 4.0 framework will be completed next month, and it will look at new industries and how we adapt education to requirements of such industries. The role of higher education institutions is to prepare students for the changes brought by Industry 4.0.

“Merging industry and academia is for humanity and not industry. Universities must ensure that they offer programmes relevant to Industry 4.0. We need to hasten the changes or universities will become irrelevant.”

Another initiative mentioned in the mandate is having at least 40 per cent of programmes in public universities implement the Integrated Cumulative Grade Point Average (iCGPA). All public universities are to establish the e-Portfolio system and integrate it with the iCGPA system.

Idris also proposed that the Malaysia English Assessment (MEA) be integrated in the communication component of the iCGPA.

He also called for the 2 Years in University and 2 Years in Industry (2u2i) programme be intensified among public universities and invited private universities to implement it.

As for the CEO@Faculty programme, the number of corporate heads will increase by 10 to 83. The ministry will continue with its CEO@Faculty 2.0 programme to involve 60 young lecturers, who will be mentored by the CEOs. The CEO@Faculty programme will be expanded to polytechnics and community colleges this year.

Each public university is required to increase the usage of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) to at least 20 per cent of all courses offered. Two subjects must be taken and completed by students via MOOC.

For polytechnics, the ministry targets having 40 per cent of students use MOOC through the offering of 70 courses starting this year.

To transform public universities into smart campuses, the ministry targets all public universities to start implementing Smart Campus by June.

In line with the Entrepreneurship Action Plan of Higher Education Institutions (2016-2020), the ministry targets 80 per cent of students to have entrepreneurial exposure while studying, nine per cent to register a business during studies and 3.5 per cent of graduates to choose entrepreneurship as a career.

Translational Research continues to be emphasised in the form of Translational Research 2.0, as do the emphasis on internationalisation to make Malaysia an international education hub.

“We must be brave in order to change. We have been brave in redesigning our higher education system. And now, we will once again show that we are brave and innovative enough to change for Industry 4.0 and beyond,” said Idris.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia vice-chancellor Professor Tan Sri Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali said what was required in the higher education sector was change and higher education institutions must be able to offer strong value to society in the context of Industry 4.0 — particularly in the process of learning and teaching.


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TVET System Vital to meet Needs Of Industry 4.0

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

NILAI, Jan 12 (Bernama) — As Malaysia’s premier Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institution, polytechnics under the Higher Education Ministry should play a big role in that field of education.

Polytechnic Education Department director-general Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Ismail Abd Aziz said this was because the TVET system was now seen as one of the most important education fields to drive the country’s future and meet the needs of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).

As such, he said, lecturers and students at polytechnics should be prepared to face the global challenges in a bid to realise the country’s aspiration to become a developed nation.

“Lecturers should not confine themselves to the existing knowledge in their field, they are very talented and they must be willing to relearn and get the second skill. For students, they must be mentally and physically prepared to meet future challenges,” he told reporters after delivering the 2018 New Year message at the Nilai Polytechnic here today.


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Higher education in the era of IR 4.0

Thursday, January 11th, 2018
Sekolah Tun Fatimah, Johor students at Vex Robotics 2016.

THE Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0) has given a new impetus to educational transformation. In recent years, education experts recognise the profound impact that a myriad of technological innovations in ICT is having on education. They agree that Education 4.0 will be shaped by innovations and will indeed have to train students to produce innovations.

Effects of IR4.0 on Education:


The picture of IR 4.0 is still quite fuzzy and it is difficult to accurately predict what lies ahead. Like the industrial revolutions in the past, IR 4.0 will create new jobs, and will also eliminate some of the existing jobs.

It is predicted that routine activities including monitoring will be entirely or partly taken over by machines. For example, IBM Watson has developed AI-based expert system that can replace junior lawyers. AI system has also been developed, having potential to replace basic-level medical practitioners. This may mean fewer jobs for entry-level professionals in these areas, specialist jobs may remain though.

In this context, it is vitally important to impart appropriate education to the future workforce. Based on the trends so far, researchers predict that IR 4.0 will necessitate profound changes in major aspects of education: content, delivery/pedagogy, and structure/management of education.

IR 4.0 demands changes in the contents of not only technical education, but also education in general. Across disciplines, new emphasis will have to be given on certain skills and new contents have to be added. So, new educational programmes will have to be developed to meet changing demands.

In the era of IR 4.0, jobs that require creativity are likely to stay. Irrespective of discipline, Education 4.0 must be able to produce highly creative graduates with the ability to think critically.

Graduates must be innovative and entrepreneurial, and have cognitive flexibility to deal with complexity. Many of them will be co-working not only with Man, but also robots.

The need for better communication and collaborative skills will be far more important than ever. Graduates must acquire self-learning skills to remain relevant in the era of rapid changes.

Education 4.0 is suggested to affect all the domains (Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor) in the Bloom’s model. In the cognitive domain, Application, Analysis, Evaluating and Creating will become way more important relative to the lower level cognitive skills.

IR 4.0 will require human resources with adequate digital and data literacy. Students across disciplines will, therefore, need to gain digital and data literacy during their studies.

The convergence of Man and machine in IR 4.0 will mean that the disciplinary distance between science and technology, and humanities and social sciences will be reduced.

An important segment of IR 4.0 will perhaps be situated at the intersection of disciplines such as electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, business administration and computer science. Universities in collaboration with industry will therefore need to come up new interdisciplinary programmes.


Innovations such as mobile computing, cloud, social network and big data have created an opportunity to build a learning ecosystem that allows personalised learning which is independent of time and place.

Learners will be able to design their own educational pathways based on their personal goals. Meeting increasing demand for ubiquitous mobile learning will require the use of Massive Open Online Courses, virtual classroom, remote labs, virtual labs and game-based learning as important tools.

With a rising level of complexity, it will be highly important to impart deeper learning. This can be achieved with the increased use of blended, project- and scenario-based, and practice-oriented learning. Innovation being key to success, experts suggest that maker space, which is characterised by open source innovation and learning-by-doing, should be utilised as a tool to train graduates.

Another creative way that is being experimented in countries including the United States, Germany, Austria and Brazil to train graduates (and also employees) is learning factory (LF). LF replicates section(s) of the value chain of the industry where workplace-based scenario can be created. In a LF, learning takes place formally and informally, and has been found to be more effective in gaining complex skills and knowledge.

Education Structure and Management:

IR 4.0 will see profound changes in business models across the sectors. To cope with the quicker cycles of disruptive changes, one has to make lifelong learning a permanent part of professional life. This may, in turn, need new ways of recognising and certifying work-place based learning. This will require new partnership between educational institution and industry.

Some experts suggest that there will be a need for compressed undergraduate study programmes, supplemented by practice and subsequent in-depth studies. Some even tend to suggest that fixed degree programmes, as we know today, may not be effective.

Universities, therefore, will need to re-think the way academic programmes will be structured in the future. To recognise more flexible, practice-oriented, competency based learning, new systems of accreditation/certification will be necessary.

Application of big data analytics in teaching and learning will shape future adoptive learning environment. Research in Austria (TU Graz) has shown that learning analytics can help teachers to see the success and failure of each student on each topic, provide them with early warning of knowledge gaps, and help them to take appropriate measures.

These measures include use of automatic exercise generators that can give appropriate exercise to each student depending on his progress. Use of data analytics for monitoring progress and effectiveness in education will become commonplace.

To respond to the needs of IR 4.0, universities must continue to play their role as test beds for educating the future generation and innovation. But close collaboration with industry and stakeholders will be ever more important to implement Education 4.0.

To be effective and efficient in such efforts, it will be important to have technology roadmaps for the main economic /industrial sectors of the country. Such technology roadmaps will provide the direction for the educational transformation which may have two main components: transform education across disciplines in terms of content, delivery, management, and devise special education/degree programmes to develop technical manpower to support IR 4.0.

Many of the components of Education 4.0 already exist in the Malaysian higher education system, but perhaps in isolation. For example, soft skills that IR 4.0 demands have already been introduced to higher education in the country.

Many of the core technical subjects are also taught in various universities under different programmes. In the context of demanding requirements of IR 4.0, it will be important to re-visit these to find how the delivery of soft skills can be made more effective. In addition to soft skills, efforts should be made on how to make digital/data literacy more accessible to the general student mass irrespective of discipline. The need for human resources in the key technical areas like IoT, big data and analytics, cloud computing, virtual/augmented reality, robotics, etc. should be assessed and acted upon accordingly.

New interdisciplinary programmes need to be developed to cater to the future need. As a first step, pilot programmes can be developed to cater to a certain sector that will be most influenced by IR 4.0. For example, the manufacturing sector can be targeted to begin with.

Since professional undergraduate programmes are subjected to control/regulation by accreditation bodies, out-of-the-box ideas cannot be introduced here immediately. Therefore a master programme in manufacturing that responds to the need of IR 4.0 can be developed as a first step. It has to be made interdisciplinary combining engineering, ICT and business studies.

It can even be a multi-university project to bring the best of the nation on a single platform. Effective use of digital tools, maker space, LF, etc. should be made. Experts predict that IR 4.0 will be a long journey reaching maturity in 2025-2030.


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Producing highly skilled workforce for the 4IR

Saturday, January 6th, 2018
In the era of digitilisation, predictive analytics use data mining, machine learning and statistics to extract information.

Billions of people and countless machines are connected to each other. Through groundbreaking technology, unprecedented processing power and speed, and massive storage capacity, data is being collected and harnessed like never before.

The change brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is inevitable, not optional as automation, machine learning, mobile computing and artificial intelligence are no longer futuristic concepts, but a reality.

An article published in the Forbes magazine says that this shift will enable workers on the front line, on the road (such as sales representatives) and in the field to make smarter decisions, solve tougher problems and do their jobs better.

UKM (Research and Innovation Affairs) deputy vice-chancellor Professor Dr Mohd Ikhwan Toriman (left) presenting a token of appreciation to Mohd Gazali Abas (second from right) at the launch of the NC4IR-TVET recently. Looking on is Human Resources Ministry’s (Policy and International) deputy secretary-general (right) Amir Omar. PIC BY ZULFADHLI ZULKILFI

For example, when railroad locomotive is brought in for repairs, technicians usually start by running diagnostic tests. These tests can take hours, and often require technicians to stand next to roaring engines jotting down numbers based on the diagnostic readings.

However, in the era of digitalisation or more precisely, the 4IR, all diagnostics are run by softwares using predictive analytics.

A mechanic can then pick up an iPad and learn more on the problem or the machine’s history in a few minutes.

That leaves the mechanics to do what they do best — fix it using their experience, judgment and skill.

The mechanic’s decisions and actions will then become data that is sent back into the software which will improve the analytics and predictions for the next problem.

So, technology does not replace mechanics; it empowers them do their job. In short, when the mechanic and the technology work together, the work gets done faster, with fewer errors and better results.

However, this raises the question as to whether Malaysia, in general, and the higher education institutions, in particular, are ready for the 4IR?


Empowering the quality of skilled workers in the 21st century particularly in the brink of the 4IR is challenging in view of the dynamic and complex changes of technology.

In an attempt to address these challenges Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Faculty of Education and Human Resources Ministry’s Department of Skills Development, had recently brought experts from the industries and academician in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to pave the path toward future endeavours in developing skill standards and curriculum.

The input gained from the one day National Conference on the 4th Industrial Revolution Skill Development: Road Map to the Future (NC4IR – TVET) hoped to lead to the development of the curriculum which was gathered from academicians, industry experts, government agencies and participants with knowledge in round-table discussion on eight interrelated themes.

These were Leaning Innovations; Humanising Potential; Standard & Curriculum; Policies and Governance; Lifelong Learning; Economics, Research on Investment, and Entrepreneurship; Industrial Collaborations; and Sustainability and Green.

At the launch, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr Richard Riot Anak Jaem said in his speech read by the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Dr Mohd Gazali Abas, the government is pushing for the adoption of smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0 in the country.

Human Resources ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Dr Mohd Gazali Abas.

Therefore to stay competitive, he said the industries have no choice but to embrace intelligent production and include more Industry 4.0 elements in their operations.

“To succeed in this revolution, we believe that highly skilled and innovative workforce is a necessity as it leads to efficient and effective labour market to support industry needs.

“In the long run, we need skilled innovators to lead change and drive economic growth that would essentially improve the quality of life of people within the country.

“The transformation to Industry 4.0 will bring new challenges for employees as they are required to be retrained in operating these new applications if they are to make full use of them,” he said.

Riot, said RM50 million have been allocated from the 30 per cent of the Human Resource Development Fund for the purpose of TVET to increase competitiveness as well as improve the calibre of the workforce and the nation’s economic development.

He added that TVET is expected to address the multiple demands of the economy, social and environment by helping youths and adults develop the skills they need for employment; providing decent work and encouraging entrepreneurship; promoting equitable, inclusive and sustainable economic growth while supporting transitions to green economies and environmental sustainability.

“By providing Industry 4.0 relevant skills through TVET programmes, we are not only preparing the youth for the future labour market but we are also preparing the human capital for nation building.

“Thus, we encourage TVET providers to align themselves to the latest skills standard and curriculum to ensure the 4IR is well understood and learned.

“For example, Germany has 81 per cent skilled workforce of which 63 per cent are skilled craftsmen who graduated from dual training system and vocational colleges, while only 18 per cent graduated from universities.

“Malaysia also is embarking on this trend and targets to increase such collaborations with the industry and hopes to meet its target of 35 per cent highly-skilled workforce by 2020,” he added.


The NC4IR-TVET organising chairman Associate Professor Dr Mohamad Sattar Rasul said the collaborative effort is important to fulfil one of the aspirations in the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) that is to increase the percentage of skilled workers in Malaysia.

NC4IR-TVET organising chairman Associate Professor Dr Mohamad Sattar Rasul says to succeed in this revolution, we believe that highly skilled and innovative workforce is a necessity as it leads to efficient and effective labour market to support industry needs.

He added that TVET transformation is crucial to enhance calibre of the nation’s workforce and strengthen the economic development.

He said understanding the current trends in the industry and the demands of the 4IR will integrate them into the workforce while making them more competent and competitive globally.

“What is often less appreciated, however, is the role education will play in this 4IR. The world of work for preparing students is changing quickly. Automation will make many jobs obsolete before long as many of the pathways through working life are changing dramatically.

“It already involves the 21st century curriculum, new academia learning innovation, gamification, industrial lot lab, learning analytics and cyber-physical systems.

“From this, how education institutions would be affected by the revolution and how the delivery of education will be transformed?” he said.

Mohamad Sattar said based on the findings from the round-table discussions during the conference, the thinktank has identified three skills that are relevant in 4IR.

They are learning skills (self directed learning, cross discipline, digital skills); thinking skills (creative, resilience, inquisitive, problem solving); and soft skills (ethics, communication).

“What can we do with the skills and how can we provide them the skills?,” he asked


The findings also stated there are three key interconnected features that affect how talent is developed and deployed in the world today and in the future, across the life cycle of an individual and in the aggregate, the entire population.

Firstly, he said technology and globalisation are significantly shifting business models in all sectors, increasing the pace of change in job destruction and job creation.

“Secondly, education and training systems, having remained largely static and under-invested in for decades, are largely inadequate for these new needs.

“And, thirdly, outdated but prevailing cultural norms and institutional inertia create roadblocks particularly when it comes to gender,” he said.

Mohamad Sattar said some industries are not ready yet to face 4IR because they are still in Industry 2.0.

However, some industries are ready in terms of technology advantages or ICT implementation but the employees or graduates

are unable to operate these advanced technologies.

“It is due to unskilled workers produced by our higher learning institutions, although the industry claims that skilled graduates produced by TVET institutions are more skilled compared to university students.

“Therefore, learning providers need to develop a clear path for each programme to ensure the students are clear about their career pathway. There are some barriers to Malaysian Education System to face in the 4IR.

“For example, TVET education and higher education system have an unbalanced infrastructure and lacks the readiness to grab the knowledge from the industry. It is also because the top management is not ready to invest in 4IR,” he said.

In the future, he added that the workforce landscape is dynamic and full of uncertainty.

“We need to build the TVET system including standards and curriculum to become more dynamic, organic and be relevant in riding the waves of the revolution such as standards in cyber security, communication, digital competency, programming, entrepreneurship and marketing.

“The experts believe that the TVET system needs to be upgraded to produce skill innovators or specialists who possess high learning skills which include creativity, emotional intelligence and people management.

“We should refer to Australian and Canadian TVET systems for reference,” he said.

Their systems provide students with skills that employers have identified as important in the workplace. They are also generally considered to provide more practical, work-orientated skills than the university system.

From discussions, the experts believe that National Occupational Skills Standard (NOSS) needs improvement and buy-in from the industry such as improving the governing industry and TVET institution structure to lead bodies and reform legistation. One way to improvise is by integrating new aspects of Internet of Things in each field so that students won’t be left out.

He said the government should develop policies on education and training to suit 4IR demand.

“Our education curriculum should emphasise on personal development from early childhood, instill emotional intelligence, commitment, culture, and mindset change to meet the challenges.

“Besides, the ecosystem should also be provided by the government and industries to cater to the interconnectedness of 4IR requirements,” he said, adding that majority of industries are not ready to employ changes in 4IR development.

By Zulita Mustafa

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Polytechnic Meets Needs Of Industry 4.0

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) — A restaurant in South India went viral recently for replacing its waiters with robots.

The transition to more advanced technology through the Fourth Industrial Revolution, better known globally as Industry Revolution 4.0 (Industry 4.0), will cause robots to replace humans in performing basic human tasks related to daily life and job routines.

Aside from robots, other new technology such as automation, the Internet of Things(IoT), big data analytics, simulations, system integration and cloud computing are set to shape the landscape of the modern world.

These advances will result in a lifestyle that is less dependent on human labour.

Education is the most important foundation in facing the challenges of this new revolution so that Malaysia can move alongside other countries that are leaders of Industry 4.0.

As Malaysia’s premier Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institution, Politeknik Malaysia plays significant role in TVET education.

By revamping several of its curriculum to meet the needs of Industry 4.0, the polytechnic that is under the Higher Education Ministry is looking at producing graduates who can become catalysts for new technology.


As with other major changes, the Revolution Industry 4.0 would not be taking place overnight. Instead, it would change phase by phase, said the Deputy Director-General, Polytechnic Education Department, Dr Mohammad Naim Yaakub.

Some industry players are still at the Industry 2.0 phase while those at Industry 3.0 are in the process of transitioning into Industry 4.0.

This is because not all are prepared to invest in machines and system training and upgrades as well as staff training.

“There are innovators and early adopters who quickly made the first move while others are still figuring out how to best move forward.

“Whatever their challenges are, the industry has no choice but to make the necessary changes to remain relevant and survive the era of Industry 4.0,” he said.

Mohammad Naim said that the Polytechnic Education Department had held many programmes to support the transition such as the roundtable conference TVET 2017 ? Polytechnics and Community Colleges to discuss the direction of polytechnics and community colleges towards the empowerment of TVET, in line with the recent boom of the industry revolution.

Six resolutions were formed, among them the Polytechnic and Community College Strategic Plan 2018-2025, aimed at producing students from a balanced and holistic education system.

He said that it would also involve a reform of the scope of the curriculum as well as teaching and learning methods.

“Aside from that, we can also use new approaches in examinations and assessments, aside from strengthening our smart partnership concepts and improving the efficiency of our administration,” he said.


The Polytechnic’s early analysis will assess the readiness of programmes offered and whether the graduates produced will meet the needs of Industry 4.0.

Mohammad Naim said there were nine skills and nine new technology highly needed for the purpose.

The nine skills are digital literacy, judgement and decision-making, project management, creative and analytical thinking, complex problem-solving, entrepreneurship and technopreneurship, high and global-level thinking and lifelong learning.

“Eight of the nine skills were introduced to students through the curriculum as early as 2004. Digital literacy methods, for example, are in all engineering programmes and only need to be expanded to non-technical fields like business and hospitality,” he said.

The nine new technology highlighted under Industry 4.0, meanwhile, are autonomous machine, digital simulation, virtual reality, system integration, IoT, cyber security, cloud computing, big data analytics and 3D printing.

Mohammad Naim said the basic knowledge of these technology have been taught through the engineering and IT curriculum at the Polytechnic.

“Analytical findings show that nearly all engineering programmes at the Polytechnic are capable of implementing the transition to Industry 4.0 and ensuring that TVET graduates are of quality,” he said.


Aside from inculcating 21st century skills to produce holistic and well-balanced graduates, the Polytechnic is also working closely with the industry to ensure the programmes offered meet industry needs.

Any changes in the industry would be quickly incorporated into the programmes offered, said Mohammad Naim.

The polytechnic-industry cooperation is realised under the Work-based Learning (WBL) initiative introduced in 2007 where students are required to alternate between studying and working in the industry for a stipulated period.

“WBL not only allows students to learn and practice the knowledge and skills needed by their fields but also learn the work culture and discover the link between their fields and others in the ecosystem of the industry,” he said.

Other initiatives of impact, he said, were the Industry Visiting Lecture and CEO Faculty Programme. Aside from that, the Polytechnic is also implementing initiatives like the Tech-Enhanced Formative and Summative Assessment as well as Industry-on-Campus.


Efforts are also being made to beef up the process of teaching and learning by creating an ecosystem based on Industry 4.0.

The delivery method will utilise the latest technology such as online learning, experience-based learning, collaborative learning, virtual reality, simulation and the use of Technology Enabled Classroom (TECC), also known as TECCGOGY.


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Moulding graduates to meet industry requirements

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017
Vocational training comprising of apprenticeship in companies starts at 16 in Switzerland.

TODAY’s job market is highly competitive and feedback from employers tend to show that the potential workforce being produced by the higher education sector are incapable of totally filling up the available vacancies.

If this is true, why is it so and how can graduates be ensured of gaining employment after completing studies at the university or other types of institutions of higher education?

Technology and knowledge today develops at Internet speed so it is not uncommon for things that are learned during the course of a programme to become obsolete once students have graduated from the university, requiring them to be trained yet again by the employers upon joining the workforce.

Faced with this kind of situation, it is best that the education sector and the industry work together closely to produce the workforce required — starting from a pre-university stage, said Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (SFIVET) Board chairman Dr Philippe Gnaegi.

“We have a very long tradition in Switzerland where 70 per cent of students in the upper secondary education system follow vocational training. This starts at 16 where they spend 3.5 days of the week working at companies — large and small — from various industries and 1.5 days at school. The arrangement has worked well and we have a very low unemployment rate — less than three per cent,” he said.

He was facilitating a roundtable discussion on “Is it an institution’s responsibility to build industry relationships?” at the recent BETT Asia 2017 held in Kuala Lumpur.

SFIVET is Switzerland’s expert organisation for vocational education and training. It provides basic and continuous training to VET professionals, conducts VET research, contributes to the development and continuous updating of training plans for specific occupations and supports international cooperation in vocational education and training.

Elaborating further on the Swiss vocational education system, Gnaegi said the students undergoing apprenticeship are paid for the work done at the companies. Employers, on the other hand, have a talent pipeline of skilled professionals who will be potentially transitioned in to the labour market.

“The apprenticeship lasts for three to four years where students are assessed both by the state — for the education part — and also from the private sector. Students have to get two sets of assessment to continue their studies. However, they would move on to our professional universities, not academic-based ones,” he said.

“We think that not everybody has to go to academic universities as it depends on their inclination. In most countries, the very intelligent students go to academic universities. We don’t practice that and don’t believe in discrimination. Very intelligent children are also in the vocational stream,” he said.

Gnaegi remarked that both systems have a curricula and national qualification designed by the social partners comprising state associations, companies and training organisations, and the state invests substantially in research, evaluation and quality control.

“The industry and the state often meet to examine the effectiveness of the vocational education system and solve any problems should they arise. The challenge for SFIVET is to get more companies to buy-in into the programme and match the needs of the labour market, both in terms of professional qualifications and the number of jobs available,” he said.

Malaysia Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, who attended the discussion, said that he was impressed with the Swiss vocational education system, how it works and intends to take a closer look.

“Of course, not everything is applicable here in our country. But the close ties and relationship between the industry and education system is commendable in terms of facilitating graduate employment. We are one in this aim — the public and private sectors — and therefore, must work together,” he said.


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Industry push to tap into 4IR

Saturday, December 9th, 2017
Delegates listening to the keynote address by Lau Seng Yee during the Malaysia Higher Education Forum 2017 recently.
By Zulita Mustafa - December 6, 2017 @ 11:30am

THEMED ‘Redesigning Education for Industry 4.0’, the recent Malaysia Higher Education Forum (MyHEF) 2017 recognised that the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) would necessitate an introspection of the country’s higher education system.

Organised by the Ministry of Higher Education, the forum explored the impact of technological advancements, automation and innovative disruptions brought by the 4IR to local and global job markets while delving into the needs of future graduates, community and industry.

In light of the continuous global competition, it is imperative for Malaysia’s higher education system to be able to produce holistic, entrepreneurial, innovative and balanced graduates.

Thus, harnessing the potential of the 4IR and creating opportunities for Malaysians within the same direction will go a long way towards achieving this visions.

Characterised by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as ‘a fusion of technologies that is blurring the line between the physical, digital, and biological spheres’, the 4IR will change the manner in which society and industries operate, in ways the world has never seen or imagined before.

Jobs that exist today will no longer exist in the future. It will be replaced by new jobs currently unheard of and social interactions will happen at a level never thought possible.

Tencent Holdings Limited Group Marketing and Global Branding chairman Lau Seng Yee.

Addressing delegates at the MyHEF 2017 forum was former Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia graduate Lau Seng Yee, who is now Tencent Holdings Limited Group Marketing and Global Branding chairman.

He sits on the Harvard’s Asia Pacific Advisory Board as well.

In 2015, he was named by the Cannes Lions as ‘Global Media Person of the Year’. Lau’s 20 years of media and Internet experience has given him the influence in a range of fields including the new economies, Internet trends and digital media.

As a ‘technology evangelist’, he is often called upon to share his observations and insights on the Internet’s value to national economies, people’s livelihoods, innovation, corporate social responsibility and leadership development — areas that provide stability in the throes of constant change.

His keynote address touched on ‘The Dawning Age of Digital Civilisation’.

Lau expressed his concerns whether the local universities are able to produce entrepreneurs with numerous talents in the near future.

“When will Malaysia produce the next Steve Jobs?” he asked.

For that to happen, he said that the country needs to address its education sector to one which has an open system strategy approach — future facing education ecosystem.

There are four components in the ecosystem — enabler of tech generations, incubators of tech generations, inspiration of tech generations, and guardian of tech generations.

“It is important that we know the current ecosystem is in the right place and more importantly, occupies the proper place in the heart of all stakeholders concern.

“But we would need more of Tan Sri Tony Fernandes around the world to come into the picture.

“The foundation could only begin with strong commitment involving various stakeholders in the entire education system.

“The stakeholders should understand clearly the nature of the ecosystem which can only be sustained when all players are concerned. They must also contribute to nurture the ecosystem. I believe that the responsibility of value creation has to be shared equally by all participants,” said Lau.

He added that the private sector must champion the role of enablers of tech generations, whereby companies can compete against one another for the best talent by offering higher salary.

“Do you know why our country is losing out in talent in global competitiveness’ advantage? It is because people with talent get paid higher in the global market,” he added.

Lau said the private companies also should commit themselves by allocating certain percentage into research and development (R&D) funding at higher education institutions.

“They have budgets that are already parked somewhere and this will enable them to invest in R&D. They should have more faith in our local researchers from the public universities rather than appointing consultants to undertake their projects.

“The objective is not just about giving a project to a university, but the significance lies in the fact that when private sectors and universities work together, students and faculty members can actually be exposed to real life issues.

“If the private sector is committed from top to bottom to bring such opportunities, it is not impossible that one day we hear future success stories to be shared around the world,” said Lau.

He said it can be delivered by encouraging universities to take bold steps in education reform by providing financial support and reward reformation in education.

“There is always an opportunity for the private company to explore in the education ecosystem. They should find ways to help the universities to produce better job candidates in the future,” he added.

Lau said Tencent is in the lookout to invest in meaningful ways.

“Tencent Education Foundation will be presenting the Nobel Prize for Education Excellence to deserving universities around the world that has shown innovation in education.”

Lau was also of the opinion that the academic fraternity should play a bigger role in the ecosystem.

“The country should be developing the scientist technocrat and invest more in public universities, and academic institutions. I’m sure, we could take on a larger role in repositioning ourselves as the incubator for new technologies.

By Zulita Mustafa.

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4th Industrial revolution and the age of optimisation

Monday, December 4th, 2017
Padi fields in Sekinchan. An example of high-tech driven change is sensor-enabled smart farming, focused down to square meter scale, with irrigation water delivered precisely when and where needed, while saving energy. FILE PIC

INNOVATIVE technologies defining the Fourth Industrial Revolution hold the promise of a path to environmental sustainability. Their introduction is also transforming the world’s workplaces, with expectation of countless jobs being created and eliminated at a rapid pace, with the many social implications such disruption entails.

Such was the basis of discussion at last week’s Global Innovation Summit 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, organised by the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils (GFCC) and the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT).

The issues addressed at the summit could not be more important. How to achieve an innovative, competitive and environmentally sustainable economy is fundamental to our national well being. There are major opportunities and rewards, but serious risks are also abundant in the decisions made today.

According to Deborah Wince-Smith, president of GFCC and chief executive officer of the United States Council on Competitiveness, the world is entering “a technology-driven Age of Optimisation” bringing about more sustainable production and consumption. These technologies “could answer the grand global challenges of adequate food, clean water, energy, the environment and global health”.

Digitisation, sensorisation, and big data will help optimise all aspects of manufacturing production, according to Wince-Smith.

“We will have the ability to illuminate the operation of every machine and device, the cut of every blade, every movement of material, and the consumption of energy minute by minute — providing insight for greater efficiency, waste reduction and lower energy consumption.”

Other examples of high-tech driven change include sensor-enabled smart farming, focused down to square meter scale, with irrigation water delivered precisely when and where needed, while saving energy.

With sustainability heavily dependent on innovation, GFCC outlined 10 guiding principles for nations, regions and cities to succeed in ever more fierce global trading rivalries and achieve environmental sustainability.

The principles emphasise key competitiveness drivers: research and development; education and training for all; sustainable and responsible natural resource development; strong intellectual property rights; open trade; and, a stable, transparent, efficient and fair environment for business investment, formation and growth.

The key message from GFCC: Nations that lead the world in innovation will also lead in environmental sustainability and economic success.

Many delegates later joined the inter-sessional meeting of Malaysia’s Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council (GSIAC), an informal group of distinguished national and international leaders in economics, business, science and technology, mandated with helping Malaysia reach developed country status by 2020

GSIAC, likewise, took up technology issues, but from the perspective of Malaysia’s readiness for “Industry 4.0” — the automation and digitisation of industrial processes through robotics and emerging technologies, also called the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Presented at the meeting was a GSIAC survey of nine senior business and government executives in Malaysia, revealing major concerns, most notably regarding shortfalls in talent, coordinated direction and a lack of awareness about the profound industrial revolution under way worldwide.

The assessment was to help inform and complement a policy document on Industry 4.0 being developed by the International Trade and Industry Ministry.

The world’s three past industrial revolutions evolved from the invention of the steam engine, the electrification and expansion of industries for mass production and the digital revolution produced by computers and information technologies.

Industry 4.0 is being driven by the convergence of advanced technologies, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage and quantum computing.

Industry 4.0 includes “the digitisation of the manufacturing sector, with embedded sensors in virtually all product components and manufacturing equipment”, and real-time analysis of data during the manufacturing process.

This transformation has the potential to disrupt “almost every industry in every country” and “is evolving much faster and with greater impact” than any of the previous industrial revolutions, according to the assessment. And “in an ever more globalised world, Malaysia is compelled to embrace the 4th Industrial Revolution in order to stay competitive”.

But, the nation needs to be better prepared to confront the profound challenges ahead.  With that in mind, the report elaborates on eight major recommendations:

STRENGTHEN talent development;

SET clear governmental directions;

INCREASE awareness;

FOCUS on the 20 per cent of corporations with the conviction to embrace Industry 4.0;

LEVERAGE large corporations;

CREATE a conducive business ecosystem;

IMPROVE Internet infrastructure; and,

FOCUS on the service sector.

With respect to the first recommendation — talent development — the last word belongs to my joint chairman at MIGHT, Tan Sri Ahmad Tajuddin Ali: “As a nation, our future competitive.


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