TRONOH, April 8: Malaysia requires 200,000 engineers by 2010 as the nation's development is heading towards K-economy, special advisor to the National Economic Action Council Datuk Rahmah Abu Kassin said.
She said as of 2000 there were only about 64,000 engineers in key sectors.
"We need to achieve the target (of 200,000 engineers) in seven years from now to match our human resources planning," she said when opening the five-day Technology, Economy and Career (TEC) Week at Universiti Technologi Petronas here last evening.
UTP Rector and chief executive officer Dr Rosti Saruwono was also present.
Rahmah cited that about 33,000 civil engineers were needed in 2010 but as at 2000 the nation only produced about 18,000.
The nation also requires 64,000 electrical and electronics engineers compared to (19,000 available in 2000), mechanical engineers 45,000 (14,000) and chemical engineers 29,000 (3,000).
She said the country also needed 312,000 system analysts, computer hardware and software engineers.
Rahmah said the Malaysian economic development had undergone major transformation over the last 30 years with the introduction of the New Economic Policy in 1970.
"To a certain level we had achieved the two-prong objectives of restructuring society and eradicating poverty under the NEP which came to an end in 1990," she said.
Rahmah said the nation was in the second phase of the National Development Policy (2001- 2020) and the focus was to go for automation in the employment sector.
"This is where the on-going TEC Week at UTP becomes necessary as institution of higher learning can complement the needs of the private and public sectors which provide employment to fresh graduates," she said.
Rahmah called on undergraduates to be proficient in the English language and versatile to suit the needs of the employment market.
Earlier, Rusdi said UTP were mindful of the stiff competition in the job market and it prepared undergraduates to face reality.
"We send our students on attachment for eight months with private firms that offer industrial training. Through this arrangement, they can gain on-the-job experience and put into practice what they had learnt in campus," he said.
The TEC Week held since 2001 is aimed at assisting undergraduates find suitable employers and industries that are relevant to their qualifications and interests.