IBM and PBU Launch [email protected] Learning Institute

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IBM and Politeknik Balik Pulau (PBU) today announced a collaboration to establish the IBM [email protected] Learning Institute. The collaboration, a first of its kind for IBM in Malaysia, is expected to benefit nearly 800 students at PBU annually. This collaboration would also serve the need for  industry-relevant high value talent in the Northern Corridor of Malaysia, especially  Penang. The IBM [email protected] Learning Institute would create new learning pathways for students and help them understand how their coursework, field experience, and the future workplace are connected.

Malaysia is currently facing a shortage of technical skills due to the acceleration of digital transformation across industries. The global health pandemic, combined with rapid digital transformation, is changing the world of work, the geography of jobs and the investment trend in future skills. It is vital for educational institutes to provide students with industry-relevant and high-quality skills to equip them with the right knowledge to fit market needs.

Under the collaboration, PBU would tap into IBM SkillsBuild  platform to   access free accredited learning content, badges to certify learning and career development coaching from IBM experts. Among the industry-led modules that will be added into the program include cybersecurity, data science, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, professional skills and four role-based modules: Data Analyst, IBM Z System Administrator, Project Manager and Customer Service Professional.

Students may acquire both technical and non-technical skills as well as learn about workplace trends and refine their professional skills, such as resume-writing, time management, effective communication, and collaboration. This would empower students to build their portfolio and demonstrate proficiencies. IBM [email protected] Learning Institute will use a cognitive learning platform to personalize, track, and complete the continuing education experience. 

Mayor of City Council of Penang Island, Dato’ Ar. Yew Tung Seang said, “Penang will continue to develop more diverse talents equipped with a future-ready skill set to meet the demands of IR 4.0. I believe the collaboration between IBM and Politeknik Balik Pulau plays an important role in creating digital talents and a skills-relevant workforce needed by the industry. The efforts on digital talent readiness will be the epitome of creating a culture of continuous learning and embracing ever-advancing technology as part of digital transformation in Penang.”

“IBM continues to collaborate with government, colleges and non-profits to bridge the talent gap in Malaysia by improving the skills and employability of students. Malaysian youths equipped with multiple skills have greater job opportunities as global economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Any expansion of opportunities for Malaysians to upskill and reskill will certainly help  accelerate human capital development that is essential to  nation-building,” said Catherine Lian, Managing Director,  IBM Malaysia.

The Ministry of Higher Education  welcomed the collaboration between IBM and PBU. “This is a good initiative by the industry to be directly involved in curriculum planning, execution of educational  tools and sharing by industry experts, all in one integrated learning pathway, and supported by the Ministry. We need more technology leaders like IBM to help increase the availability of accessible learning platforms and develop in-demand credentials and skills for students,” said Ts. Zainab Ahmad, Director-General, Polytechnic and Community College Education Department, Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia.

Commenting on the collaboration, Abdul Hanif Mustapha, Director of Politeknik Balik Pulau said: “We are delighted to collaborate with IBM to establish the IBM [email protected] Learning Institute. SkillsBuild would enable us to continue to reinvent education by providing strategic learning platforms that empower  students with the right skills and knowledge to respond the challenges of today’s marketplace.”

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