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Professional training for a knowledge-based economy

In his 2015 Budget speech, Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak again reinforced the need for Malaysia to “move to an economy based on knowledge, high skills, expertise, creativity and innovation”.

It has already been seen as a proven fact that a knowledge-based economy will provide the basis, or platform, for enabling a sustained, rapid rate of economic growth and spur the nation’s international competitiveness. Other countries such as Korea, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and China began their economic progress based on agriculture, and thanks to a drive towards increasing knowledge, have managed to strengthen their economies dramatically.

Such a shift will also strengthen Malaysia’s capacity in innovation, allowing us to create and further develop on indigenous technologies and products. In these respects, we need to turn to not only existing students, but also the currently deployed workforce in order to achieve a more rapid rate of conversion.

With the wide scope of IT today, there are numerous professional certifications available for specialists in so many areas of technology. One such example is the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL®), a set of concepts and techniques for managing information technology infrastructure, development, and operations.

ITIL®’s benefits have more recently come into contention as new technologies such as cloud computing, more advanced forms of automation and analytics have impacted strategic ITIL® initiatives and have captured media and industry attention. Today, certification in specific areas has come to the fore and it’s been proven effective and of great value.

According to Ellery Wee, Senior Associate Director, Gartner, professional certification can do wonders for the credibility of a workforce.

“As the highly-skilled pool of workers grows, it acts as a business catalyst in a sense. The attraction will be there for both foreign and domestic companies to tap into a readily available source such as this and it in turn will tend to drive the economy.

“Suffice to say, this type of workforce enhancement is vital to any form of economic transformation plan. It’s one of the true drivers of the business environment. Although such initiatives take time, in the long term there will be a significant contribution to the nation as a whole,” said Wee (pic).

Naturally, in order to gain such certification, proper training is needed, and Malaysia is lucky in the sense that many professional certification courses are available here, offered by recognised organisations. Quint Wellington Redwood, for example, is focused on providing consultancy and training aimed at optimising IT-intensive processes.

It established Quint Academy to provide training and certification in IT via traditional class room instructor-led training, e-learning, customized workshops and a blended of all the three. Aside from its global reputation, over 90% of Quint’s certification-based training are accredited by APMG-International, an award-winning examination Institute that specialises in certification schemes for knowledge-based workers.

Quint Asia Education Director-Jean YongQuint Asia’s Education Director Jean Yong (pic) is confident that courses offered by training professionals like Quint can make a difference. “For true professionals, the job market is becoming increasingly focused. Look at the number of positions open today that require applicants to be certified in specific courses,” she said.

Yong also stressed on the difference between courses. “Our key differentiation is that our instructors are our consultants. They are able to bring not only professional theory to students, but are able to apply real world experience from a diverse field of clients to the classroom,” she added.

Amongst the Quint Academy’s certified offerings, naturally is ITIL®. However, Quint also offers customised training and certification in areas such as IT Governance, Project Management, Quality Management, as well as Agile and LEAN, amongst others. These are all crucial tools on offer to companies that want to upgrade the skillsets of new as well as experienced workers.

“ITIL® is not just technical in nature. These courses teach skills relating to management, business-IT alignment and negotiation. Having ITIL® certification is an added advantage in the job market.  Many companies are now hiring with “preferred” ITIL® certification as a requirement,” said Yong, saying that successful graduates can command higher salaries compared to industry norm.

Yong was speaking to Business Circle upon the conclusion of the signing of a business cooperation agreement with Fadzilah Kamsah Academy (FKA).

With the signing of this agreement, FKA will now be authorized to deliver Quint’s full portfolio under APMG for both e-learning and classroom training. All deliveries are authorized either through Quint’s Accredited Trainer or certification via external trainers that meet stringent accreditation processes by APMG that use Quint’s accredited courseware and exams.

Quint training portfolio comes to Malaysia's Fadzilah Kamsah Academy
A historic day for professional training. Quint CEO Maurice Boon seated second from left,
with FKA Director Director Dato’ Dr. Mohd Fadzilah Kamsah to his left.

Meanwhile, Dato’ Dr. Mohd Fadzilah Kamsah said that training centres today are much more evolved. “We can no longer just assume that professionals who walk in our doors, study the materials, and pass tests, will be fine. We need to ensure that they are equipped to handle real-life scenarios… give them a dose of reality, so to speak,” he said.

Jeffrey Doss regional director Quint Wellington RedwoodQuint’s Regional Director Jeffrey Doss(pic) is confident that certified courses offered by training professionals like FKA can make a difference. “Job specialization today requires not only unique skills but a healthy dose of reality. Unable to take a gamble any longer, organizations are increasingly turning to training centres such as Quint Academy and FKA to gain the competitive edge,” he said.

With over 20 years of global experience, Quint’s team is available in Malaysia and ready to share the skills of its uniquely diversified team of qualified consultants. Their consultants, who also function as trainers, have not just the technical knowledge to impart their skills onwards but also the edge in experience as well. They are able to apply scenarios from out-of-textbook environments and give their trainees that extra knowledge that would not usually be readily available.

Training courses and certification such as those offered by Quint can play a vital part in upgrading the services of companies and giving them that valuable edge in today tough business environment. As organisations rapidly recognise the need to compete on a global scale, so too do they feel ever-increasing pressure from domestic peers, and IT plays a large part in almost every single aspect of this drive towards a knowledge-based economy. Trade and investment transactions today are increasingly being done online. And for every front-end shift to technology we see, there is an even greater need for the appropriate IT framework to support it backstage.

To maintain, and even push its competitive edge, Malaysia will need to aggressively undertake productivity improvements in traditional industries while concurrently enhancing technological and knowledge capabilities. The move into mid-range and higher-end products will contribute to the value chain for both upstream and downstream activities. Training professionals such as Quint will truly have a crucial part to play in the country’s development.

Source: Business Circle

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