KUALA LUMPUR – August 2, 2017: The Malaysian-based Asian Rail Academy (ARA), which was officially opened yesterday, aims to produce more local talents and enhance the skill sets of those working in the country’s rail industry.
To achieve that objective, ARA has partnered United Kingdom-based National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR) and renowned multi-disciplinary German-based technical service organisation, TUV SUD.
ARA chief executive officer R.A. Thiagaraja said the academy is Asia’s first NTAR-authorised rail training provider.
Apart from that, ARA is also the first training provider in the region to offer rail safety certification programmes from TUV SUD.
The academy is also the first training facility to use Oculus Rift virtual reality in Malaysia, said Thiagaraja during a ceremony at the British high commissioner’s residence here.
ARA will start its inaugural upskilling class on September 1.
NTAR head of business development, Jennifer Walpole, said it was excited to share its learning contents and technologies with ARA.
“We are delighted to be part of a powerful, international collaboration with a like-minded organisation who so evidently cares about high quality and innovative delivery,” she said.
Technology Depository Agency Berhad chief executive officer Datuk Zailani Safari said the formation of ARA and its partnership with NTAR and TUV SUD were timely as the demand for rail-related human capital is expected to exponentially increase in the near future.
“The agreement is aimed to support the National Rail Centre of Excellence (NRCOE) that caters to local railway industry’s needs in the area of education and training.
“The establishment of this NRCEO is targeted to close the gap in human capital needs. The current workforce in railway is about 18,000 and the required workforce needed for the year of 2030 is around 68,000 workers,” said Zailani.
The figures, said Zailani, were based on the initiation of several upcoming rail-related projects namely; the second line of the Mass Rapid Transit, the third line of the Light Rail Transit, the East Coast Rail Link and the High Speed Rail which are expected to begin in late 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively.