KUCHING (July 8): Sarawakian youths must be agile in taking all possible opportunities by developing their full potential in line with green jobs, said Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He said Sarawak’s efforts in positioning itself to becoming a regional green energy power hub had created demand for a more competitive and resilient labour market in the renewable energy sector.
With the growing number of investments in the green energy sector coming into the state, he said young people will need to prepare themselves to become highly skilled workers by learning new skills and improving their capacity to detect the opportunities of green jobs.
“In this context, the Sarawak government has managed to attract a lot of investment to Sarawak because we have succeeded in exploring new economies that are capable of increasing our economy and revenue.
“Our efforts to increase research and development on Sarawak’s natural resources through carbon businesses and research have resulted in new economic resources that will double Sarawak’s income. We practise an open economy and as a result, many business opportunities and quality jobs are provided.
“Therefore, young people play a role in trying to improve their knowledge and skills, and increasing their competitiveness to seize opportunities from this open economy. With the emphasis under the green energy sector being worked on by the government, for example, youths must be agile in seizing existing opportunities so they are qualified to handle the job opportunities provided later,” he said.
Abang Johari said this in his speech when launching the Sarawak Education Expo opening ceremony at Yayasan Sarawak here today. His text-of-speech was read by Education, Innovation and Talent Development Minister Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn.
Abang Johari said that while Sarawak is rich in potential and resources to shift into a more sustainable economy and development, the most important aspect that needs to be developed is its youth.
As it aspires to become a developed state by 2030, Abang Johari said the recent climate change crisis has also placed the importance of sustainable development and increased the demand in green skills.
Thus, the younger generation has to be better equipped to meet the current demands.
“Sarawak will witness economic prosperity driven by data and innovation. The introduction of the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030) Action and Implementation Plan has clearly laid out the steps and actions needed to achieve this new development.
“Under the 12th Malaysia Plan alone, Sarawak has allocated as much as RM63 billion to implement the people-oriented initiative under the first phase of PCDS 2030. Therefore, Sarawak needs to have a more efficient implementation plan so we can implement these projects based on funding, time and clear specifications.
“In fact, this plan also emphasises the development of a business model that will focus on harnessing the value of the state’s natural resources. Industrial development will be planned based on the opportunities of its upstream industry, as well as the production of intermediate and downstream industries and export capabilities,” he said.
Abang Johari said that Sarawak will try to ensure industry players and conglomerates from the private sector will work with the state government to open up such opportunities.
Meanwhile, he said that in a bid to empower youths, Sarawak has established higher education institutions to develop its human capital and their establishment has provided an avenue of education and training for youths to unleash their skills in the green sector.
He said that the establishment of Yayasan Sarawak was one of the efforts to ensure a more accessible education policy for all Sarawakian children.
“In Sarawak, we have established institutions of higher education such as Swinburne, Curtin, UTS, i-Cats, KLT and Centexs which are provided for the benefit of the children of Sarawak. If the children fail to continue their studies at IPTA, then the opportunity for you is at our institution — use and seize this opportunity to the best of your ability.
“We will ensure that the children of Sarawak are able to continue their studies at these institutions without having to worry about financial problems, because Yayasan Sarawak is able to finance the cost of your studies here through the sponsorship schemes provided,” he added.