When it comes to automotive technology, there can be no doubt that the Japanese manufacturers possess a great deal of experience, expertise and knowledge. Companies such as Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) have been making cars for over 50 years and their experience, if shared with developing countries, can prove invaluable as it can help avoid the pitfalls while accelerating development.
During a visit to Japan last year, Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad decided to make a request to TMC to assist Malaysians in the field of high-tech training so that there would be greater advancement in the local automotive industry. In response, TMC has formulated a “Hi-Tech Training Package” which is said to have a value of at least RM1 million(mainly in specialised equipment costs). The training package will encompass four sessions for automotive instructors over a one-year period and will be held at the Centre for Instructors and Advanced Skills Training (CIAST) in Shah Alam, Selangor.
CIAST is under the aegis of the Malaysian Ministry of Human Resources and has been operational since 1984. Its establishment was sponsored by the Japanese government under the ASEAN Human Resources Development Project. It offers courses for instructors, supervisors and skilled workers from the private and public sectors.
TMC’s Hi-Tech Training Package will be among the 31 courses available each year. For the course, TMC will send its own instructors to CIAST where they will conduct training and the Malaysian instructors will then return to their own organisations to conduct their own training programs.
Besides sending Japanese instructors to conduct the training, TMC has also donated special training equipment and training manuals. The special training equipment was developed for advanced training of automotive technicians and includes a full-sized engine that allows for simulation of electronic fuel injection (EFI). There are also simulators which demonstrate front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and 4WD, while a cut-away model of automatic transmission and ABS units will give the trainee instructors a clear understanding of their operations.
“We are pleased to be given the honour and privilege to share our educational know-how of human resources development by assisting the instructors at CIAST. As a corporate citizen, we hope that the Toyota Hi-Tech Training will contribute to technical education of the young people in Malaysia who will acquire the latest technology and highest skills in the automobile industry,” said S. Takahashi, a Director of TMC who represented the Japanese company at the official Handing-Over Ceremony and Program Commencement at CIAST today.
The training program at CIAST is the second technical training support program provided jointly by TMC and UMW Toyota Motor for automotive trainees and instructors. In 1991, the two companies also introduced the Toyota Technical Education Program (T-TEP) for vocational schools and to date, five such institutions have the program.