Rolls-Royce: Malaysia could become major MRO hub if it has people with the right skills
06 Oct 2023
Malaysia must prepare the people with the right skills and capabilities to achieve its aspiration to be a leading maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) hub in Southeast Asia by 2030, said Rolls-Royce president for Southeast Asia, Pacific and South Korea Dr Bicky Bhangu.
He said the biggest challenge will be getting the right people with the right skills, technicians and capabilities to ensure Malaysia is on the right path to becoming an MRO hub.
Bicky told Bernama that a connected education system is needed, from primary all the way through to tertiary institutes and institutes of higher learning, so the country would have an ample and continuous supply of specialist technicians and engineers that are needed for the MRO network to operate.
“It is difficult to train people and have them ready with those skills and capabilities but it is quick for them to quit and leave which will disrupt the pipeline,” he said.
In order to help Malaysia achieve the aspiration to become a leading MRO hub, Bicky said Rolls-Royce is working closely with government agencies such as the Malaysian Industry Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) and the Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre (AMIC).
In April this year, International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said Malaysia’s aerospace sector secured a cumulative RM5.7 billion of manufacturing contracts to produce aircraft parts and components for various global customers since the economy gradually reopened in late 2021.
He also noted that the MRO sub-sector has received significant interest from local and foreign players to expand their business in Malaysia, or to use the country as a hub for their expansion in Southeast Asia.
Tengku Zafrul said Malaysia secured RM600 million worth of MRO expansion projects in 2022, involving heavy maintenance and components MRO activities.
Bicky said Rolls-Royce also collaborated with companies such as UMW Aerospace and Malaysia Airlines to train people in creating the ecosystem that can supply the right kind of skill sets that the industry needs.
He added that Rolls-Royce, with help from the government, had engaged with 11,000 Malaysian students last year to inspire more young talents to be future-ready for the MRO industry.
“This year, we want to reach out to more than 11,000 students, but it is not just to get those absolute numbers, but the quality of the impact as the workshops differ each time.
“Rolls Royce would invest in hands-on activities (for example) where you can have an electric car that is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and coding. So, you have those types of examples and it depends on who we are engaging and how we need to inspire them,” he said.