Sarawak Energy, CIDB ink MoU to develop skilled construction workforce, best practices

Abang Johari (fourth left) witnesses the exchange of MoU documents between Sharbini (third left) and Ahmad 'Asri (third right) while others look on. Photo: Sarawak Information Department

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By Chris Bishop and Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Aug 16: Sarawak Energy Berhad (Sarawak Energy) and Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Malaysia today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate in capacity-building programmes for skilled construction personnel and enhancing the adoption of construction best practices in Sarawak.

To begin with, the scope of collaboration covers the training, assessment and accreditation of 100 plant and crane operators, 200 scaffolders and 80 construction site supervisors for a total of 20 Sarawak Energy projects by CIDB.

Through the five-year strategic collaboration, CIDB will be able to organise registration, training and accreditation programmes to be conducted at remote project sites in order to minimise project disruption, time and logistic costs as well as ensuring compliance to the CIDB Act 1995 (Act 520).

Sarawak Energy, as the owner of large infrastructure projects, has agreed to provide industry apprenticeship placement for up to 100 people who have completed their training from the CIDB-owned training academy, Akademi Binaan Malaysia (ABM).

Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said the collaboration was timely as the State requires a skilled and competent Sarawakian workforce to meet demand and to ensure timely delivery of development projects.

“This need was made very evident during the Covid-19 pandemic, when we faced a significant shortage of workers due to non-arrival of foreign workers cause by Covid related restrictions which led to project delays.

“The training of local workers will prevent such delays from happening again in the event of a future crisis of similar nature, as we will be fully prepared with a sufficient local competent workforce,” he said when officiating at the MoU signing ceremony at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) today.

At the signing, Sarawak Energy was represented by its Group Chief Executive Officer Datu Sharbini Suhaili while CIDB was represented by its Chief Executive, Datuk Ahmad ‘Asri Abdul Hamid.

The MoU signing was witnessed by Sarawak Energy Executive Vice-President for Project Delivery, Pramod Kumar Karunakaran and CIDB Deputy Chief Executive I, Megat Kamil Azmi Megat Rus Kamarani.

At the same ceremony, Sharbini during his speech stated that Sarawak Energy currently has 57 generation and transmission projects valued at around RM40 billion which will be executed up to 2030.

“As of today, RM18 billion worth of these projects are in execution phase while the remaining RM22 billion are at the design and front-end engineering phases.

“We also have distribution projects valued at RM1.88 billion over the next few years,” he said.

Amongst those present at the signing ceremony were Deputy Premier and Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian; Minister for Utility and Telecommunication Datuk Julaihi Narawi; CIDB chairman Yusuf Abd Wahab; and Deputy Chief Executive of CIDB Zaid Zakaria. — DayakDaily