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Google & Malaysian government launch initiatives to equip local youth with future-ready skills

Google & Malaysian government launch initiatives to equip local youth with future-ready skills

The two initiatives aim to equip students with skills focusing on AI, and enhance public service delivery with the help of cloud-native, AI-driven productivity tools.

In collaboration with the Malaysian government, Google has announced two initiatives to equip Malaysian youth with future-ready skills focused on AI, and enhance public service delivery with the help of cloud-native, AI-driven productivity tools, in alignment with Malaysia’s MADANI Economy Framework.

These new initiatives are part of the strategic collaboration announced at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting in San Francisco in 2023, which was led by Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Prime Minister of Malaysia, and Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Aziz, Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry.

The first initiative involves Google and the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) working together to upskill Malaysian youth from diverse backgrounds by providing 161 institutes of higher learning with 500 Google Career Certificate scholarships each. 

The second initiative is a collaboration between Google & Jabatan Digital Negara (JDN), the government agency in charge of coordinating and implementing national and public sector digitalization projects under the Ministry of Digital, where 445,000 public officers will be equipped with Google Workspace tools to boost their productivity across the public sector. The collaboration focuses on four strategic areas, aimed to strengthen the country’s digital competitiveness: 

  • advancing digital infrastructure investments to help companies expand online and overseas; 
  • developing cloud-first policies for the AI economy; 
  • making digital skills more accessible to Malaysians; and 
  • accelerating secure and responsible AI adoption across the public and private sector.

Karan Bhatia, Global Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google, said: "As governments around the world consider how they can make the most of the AI opportunity, Malaysia is embracing technology as a key driver of national competitiveness and spearheading secure and responsible AI adoption in the public sector. 

"These initiatives have the potential to transform the way services are delivered for the benefit of all Malaysians, while working to equip people with the digital skills they need."

In addition, Google will be collaborating with MoHE to make digital skills more accessible to Malaysians and help uplift the workforce. 

Around 161 public universities, polytechnics, and community colleges in Malaysia will be provided with up to 500 Google Career Certificate scholarships each until the end of 2024.

Dato' Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir, Minister of Higher Education, noted that in-demand skills in cloud computing, data analytics, cybersecurity, and AI, which can be acquired at no cost through the certificate programs offered by Google, will lead to stronger job readiness and a rise in income. 

"This will also translate to higher job satisfaction for workers and a larger digital talent pool for Malaysia", he added. 

Moreover, Google and JDN will work together to enhance communication and collaboration across government agencies and enable improved public service delivery. 

JDN will deploy Google Workspace for 445,000 public officers, helping public officers accelerate policy development, budget planning, and public consultations by allowing them to work together on tasks without having to switch between tools, find information across internal document repositories using Google-quality search capabilities leverage on other embedded AI tools to streamline workflows and facilitate data-driven decision-making.

Datuk Haji Rodzi bin Md Saad, Secretary-General, Ministry of Digital, commented: “Strong inter-agency coordination is crucial for delivering responsive, high-quality public services that improve the lives of Malaysians. 

"In line with the MADANI Economy Framework, our whole-of-government adoption of Google Workspace’s secure, cloud-based, and AI-powered capabilities will foster seamless real-time information exchange, enabling government agencies to work closer together toward optimal and effective public service delivery."

READ MORE: Top 5 AI-proof job roles 

Lead image / 123RF

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