Metallurgy experts at the University of Birmingham today welcomed visitors from Malaysia to their laboratories to demonstrate how their research and teaching expertise could help to boost the country’s economy.

Training leaders from the country’s Sarawak region met researchers in the School of Metallurgy and Materials, who showcased the University’s materials expertise and discussed how they might work with the Sarawak Skills Development Centre. 

The visitors were part of a Foreign & Commonwealth Office(FCO) study visit aimed at developing technical and vocational education and training in Malaysia. 

Sarawak Group

Government leaders aim to create 1.5 million jobs in Malaysia by 2020 - particularly in high-intensity industry where workers with strong metallurgy skills will be needed. There is currently a shortfall of some 700,000 skilled Malaysian workers in key areas. 

Professor Andy Schofield, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham is pictured above - second from left -  welcoming the group.

He said: “The University of Birmingham has a wealth of experience in cutting-edge materials research and teaching. I am delighted to welcome our guests to Birmingham and look forward to the University supporting their efforts in creating a highly-skilled workforce in Malaysia.

“As a global ‘civic’ university, Birmingham has a responsibility to enrich the life of people in our home city and the wider world. We are happy to share our world-leading expertise in materials science for the benefit of the people of Malaysia.”

Sarawak is an important regional business location in Malaysia.  The Malaysian Government has  allocated budget to technical and vocational educational training education worth RM4.8billion (£882 million). 

Dr Abdul Rahman Deen,  Director, Workforce Development Unit, Chief Minister’s Department is pictured above with Hallman Sabri, Executive Director of the Sarawak Skills Development Centre, and Professor Andy Schofield.


He said: “We’re exploring the possibility of working with British institutions in partnerships relating to materials and metallurgy on development programmes, training trainers and research projects.

“We aim to attract industries to Sarawak and hope to work with institutions such as the University of Birmingham to help this to take place. Our officials and experts have had a very productive UK tour and visit to Birmingham.”

The study visit was organised on behalf of the FCO by The Training Gateway – a UK body that links organisations with education and training providers across the country. It aims to introduce the Malaysian visitors to UK excellence in vocational education. 

For more information, interviews or a copy of the interim report, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or  +44 (0)7827 832 312. For out-of-hours enquiries, please call +44 (0)7789 921 165.

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