The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project will train and employ 3,600 students with railway technology skill sets, a move that will raise the employability of youths especially from Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.
Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) CEO Darwis Abdul Razak said the move to train these graduates was timely given the massive infrastructure projects taking place in the country, like the Light Rail Transit (LRT), Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and High-Speed Rail (HSR) link between Malaysia and Singapore.
“Railway technology is developing rapidly in Malaysia,” he said in a televised interview.
MRL is the project owner of the RM55 billion ECRL, which is scheduled to be completed in 2024. The 688km rail will link Kelantan to Port Klang.
Darwis said it was crucial for Malaysians to be able to manage and operate the ECRL after its construction.
He said Malaysia would also have more rail workers to cater to the industry through the ECRL Industrial Skills Training Programme amid the government focus on rail infrastructure.
The training programme, PLKI-ECRL, is the result of collaboration between MRL, turnkey contractor China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP).
According to Darwis, focusing on the design and construction of railways will arm locals with the necessary skill sets to work on rail projects.
He said the higher education ministry had named UMP as the main institution to coordinate the training, based on the syllabus by Beijing Jiaotong University and Southwest Jiaotong University, two prominent universities from China which also serve as CCCC’s railway technology training partner.
The ECRL is expected to generate more than 80,000 jobs for Malaysians during its construction period and another 6,000 during the rail’s operation.
Darwis said all the graduates trained would be absorbed by either MRL, CCCC or its subcontractors.