BAGAN DATUK: GiatMARA Bagan Datuk has been upgraded to the Malaysia-China Institute (MCI) to train local TVET workforce with expertise from China.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi stated that for starters the centre will train 2,000 TVET candidates who will be fully sponsored for training in China.

“It has already commenced, with 650 local TVET students undergoing initial training at GiatMARA Bagan Datuk, and subsequently sent to China.

“These TVET students are fully sponsored by Chinese organisations. The students only needed to finance their travel expenses, for which we also secured sponsorship,“ he told reporters at the Bagan Datuk Parliamentary Aidilfitri open house here yesterday.

Also present were Perak Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad, and MARA chairman Datuk Seri Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.

Ahmad Zahid, who also chairs the National TVET Council, highlighted plans to streamline the transformation of Giat MARA Bagan Datuk into MCI by upgrading facilities and infrastructure, with forthcoming efforts to expand the campus.

In January, it was reported that 17 TVET institutions in China had agreed and were prepared to collaborate in the establishment of the MCI.

The commitment from TVET institutions in China to establish MCI involves providing 2,000 training slots this year to enhance the skills of Malaysian TVET students.

The training slots provided cover various fields, such as Electric Vehicles (EV), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) technology, solar energy, information technology, and machining.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Bagan Datuk Member of Parliament, mentioned that in the first step, an organisation in China will sponsor students in the fields of renewable energy, hydrogen vehicles, and telecommunications.

He emphasised that this initiative reflects the cooperation between the two countries, as well as the increased investment from China into Malaysia.

“In this regard, China has a significant demand for skilled workers from our country in various related fields,“ he said, adding that the selected students come from various ethnic backgrounds, including from Sabah and Sarawak.