Sunway Education Group (SEG) and state government agency Digital Penang have partnered up to explore opportunities in building the digital ecosystem to strengthen Penang’s digital talent pool.
In line with the national agenda and the state’s Penang2030 vision, the collaboration will bring opportunities and synergies to groom software tech talents to become world-class developers and tech entrepreneurs, as well as create job opportunities to meet the growing industry demands.
Under SEG’s extension of 42 Kuala Lumpur (42KL) and Sunway iLabs, both parties will explore opportunities to curate tech workshops, talks, build a peer-to-peer coding learning environment, and jobs matching to create a sustainable digital ecosystem in Penang. A+M has reached out to Digital Penang for further information.
42KL is a non-profit initiative through a partnership between Sunway Education Group and MDEC, together with support from the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation and Sunway iLabs.
Anticipating an increase of new tech startups and tech talent demand from budding startups, Sunway said this partnership is timely to foster and upskill potential tech talents in Penang. This initiative is also in line with Penang’s digital transformation plan under the digital economy pillar to develop a talent pipeline in STEM, E&E engineering and deep software technology as we adapt to a world of rising automation and robotics.
Matt van Leeuwen, chief innovation officer for Sunway Group and director of Sunway iLabs explained that Penang’s ecosystem and its digital aspirations are a match-made to cultivate hardware expertise and software skills.
"Being a part of this digital ambition truly aligns with our Sunway iLabs vision. We’ve set out a target to train and develop 10,000 students over the next 10 years through programmes like 42KL that will be present in more states across the country and the potential 42 Penang will play a role for this vision,” Leeuwen said.
Tony Yeoh, Digital Penang CEO added “To meet the ever-growing and evolving demands for tech talents in the state, Digital Penang is committed to exploring initiatives and programmes to develop local talent with industry and global skills to accelerate digital tech careers. As ecosystem partners to build capabilities of tech talents and entrepreneurs, the state welcomes this partnership and looks forward to investing in talent development programmes that will benefit industry demands and the ecosystem in Penang."
"We place priority in developing talents in the software tech industry, enhance employability for software talents, especially the B40 category to provide high-income and high-skill jobs to further attract investments and talent into Penang’s digital ecosystem," Yeoh said.
Last year, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation's "Digital Talent Snapshot" report showed that there were 261,077 digital talents available i the country during the fourth quarter of last year. The majority of them (55.2%) were situated in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. Meanwhile, in the last three quarters of 2021, Penang, Johor and Melaka were said to have the potential of hiring digital talents. This is due to their relatively higher supply against demand.
Last year, PwC's 24th Annual Global CEO Survey found that CEOs in Malaysia believe that building a skilled, educated and adaptable workforce should be the top priority for both government (73%) and businesses (73%).
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