Google, M’sian gov’t on strategic collab, skill opportunities for 300k by 2026

THE Malaysian government and Google today announced a strategic collaboration to create inclusive growth opportunities for more Malaysians and homegrown companies in the fast-growing digital economy.

The collaboration brings both parties together to help businesses of all sizes advance their digital competitiveness through skilling programmes, investment in digital infrastructure, responsible artificial intelligence (Al) innovation, and cloud-first policies, Google said in a statement here today.

“This latest commitment by Google, aimed at accelerating local innovation and talent development in the field of Al, will certainly boost the nation’s digital competitiveness, in line with the Madani Economy Framework and the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030),” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Malaysia’s Madani Economy Framework aims to increase the size of Malaysia’s economic pie, as well as ensure that all stakeholders – particularly the rakyat and small businesses – will enjoy the ensuing socio-economic benefits, he added.

Google said the latest initiatives are built on its investments in Malaysia over the last 12 years.

In 2022 alone, the company’s products and programmes supported more than 47,900 jobs and also contributed, directly and indirectly, an estimated US$2.8 bil in economic benefits to local businesses.

“The partnership we are announcing today with the government of Malaysia aligns Google’s local mission of Advancing Malaysia Together with the government’s goal to create a supportive ecosystem for innovation that includes more meaningful and equitable job opportunities,” said Alphabet and Google president and chief investment officer; chief financial officer Ruth Porat.

Meanwhile, Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz welcomed Google’s continued contributions to the rakyat and homegrown businesses, especially through programmes that nurture skilled talent and help Malaysia’s small businesses scale regionally.

“Apart from supporting the achievement of NIMP 2030’s missions, these will also enhance Malaysia’s overall global competitiveness to foreign investors. MITI and its agency, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) will do our utmost to facilitate Google’s planned investments in Malaysia.”

To provide Malaysians from all backgrounds with more digital training opportunities, Google Cloud, CloudMile and Trainocate are making five digital learning paths available at no cost.

“Accessible through the Go Cloud programme – which aims to upskill 300,000 Malaysians by 2026 – the learning paths consist of online courses to help individuals better apply generative AI (gen Al), data analvtics and cloud-based productivity tools.”

Learners who complete the five learning paths will earn digital skills badges that they can share on their resumes and extended 30-day access to more learning paths at no cost.

Google said this is built on Gemilang, a digital training programme that has provided 31,000 Google Career Certificate scholarships to less fortunate individuals in partnership with educational institutions and nonprofits.

“This helps Malaysians earn professional certifications – at no cost – for entry-level jobs in high-demand fields such as data analytics, IT support as well as e-commerce and digital marketing.”

Besides this, the government and Google Cloud will embark on joint Al launchpad initiatives to create new jobs, enhance public service delivery and help local companies tap global markets.

Google will also support the government’s refinement of its existing Cloud First Policy for Malaysia, contributing policy expertise and its Secure Al Framework to account for the latest advancements in cloud computing and Al.

This reinforces the government’s efforts to prioritise the use of resilient, cost-efficient, and innovation-driven cloud services over capital-intensive on-premise systems, while aligning with global best practices on data privacy and security standards. – Nov 16, 2023


Main photo credit: Bernama

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