By Dr. Muhammad Abd Hadi bin Bunyamin, Rohaizan Khairul Anuar and Nurul Amrie bin Abdullah
SYDNEY, 13 July – Professor Datuk Ts. Dr Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, the Vice-Chancellor of UTM, received a special invitation from the Australian Government to be one of the Panel Speakers at The Sydney Energy Forum.
Officiated by the Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, the two-day forum was jointly organised by the Australian Government and the International Energy Agency aimed at bringing together governments and the private sectors to identify practical solutions for the clean energy transition.
Among notable figures present were Indo-Pacific Ministers and business leaders from ASEAN Center for Energy (ACE), Asian Development Bank, BP, ENEOS Corporation, Hitachi Energy, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Lynas Corporation Ltd, Mitsui, Pertamina, PETRONAS, Sarawak Energy, The Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) Malaysia, Siemens Corporation, Sumitomo, Tesla and many more.
Prof Ahmad Fauzi was invited as one of the panels for the final Plenary session to address the issues of Workforce Skills and Capabilities, chaired by Barbara Humpton of Siemens Corporation. The Vice-Chancellor expressed his point of view regarding the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Analysis report on Malaysia’s ability to lead the world by having 447 employees per 100,000 population involved in the field of Renewable Energy. This figure is deemed among the highest in the world compared to Australia and the United States, which has around 250 employees, and India at 53 employees.
Speaking to the audience, the Vice-Chancellor asserted that each party could no longer work in a silo, instead synergising to form a stronger team and network to form more outstanding capabilities. Skills upgrading and reskilling programs are imperative to address future needs.
In addition, the existence of more flexible and contemporary learning platforms, especially the implementation of Accreditation of Prior Learning (APEL) and micro-credential, makes it easier for the workforce to acquire new skill sets more quickly and meet current industry needs.
Commenting on matters involving forming and implementing an innovative and stackable curriculum, the Vice-Chancellor highlighted that UTM produces graduates with Master’s in Energy Management with a certificate as a Certified Energy Manager from the Energy Commission and the ASEAN Energy Management System (AEMAS).
Moreover, to help in sustaining the energy and renewable energy industry, especially in the Indo-Pacific region, the University actively implements continuous collaboration and research initiatives with international agencies. For example, UTM collaborates actively with the ASEAN Center for Energy (ACE), Imperial College London, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on Low Carbon Transportation.
In response to questions posed by forum participants on the matter of graduates wanting to find their purpose in the job sector and building a “sense of purpose”, the Vice-Chancellor shared that in UTM, students are actively involved and immersed in industry projects. This practice gives graduates the exposure and skills needed to face challenges and realities when employed by the industries. The UTM AIMS4STAR Consortium (Consortium of Academia, Industry, Government and Society Synergistic Transformation), for example, serves as the platform to provide graduates with these opportunities.
Concluding his session, the Vice-Chancellor delivered a meaningful word of wisdom that reads, “If you mentioned it, just do it.” These words were well received and highlighted at the forum summary session by Dr Alan Finkel, the Chairman of the Sydney Energy Forum and Special Adviser to the Australian Government in the field of Low Emissions Technology.