GEORGE TOWN: The Ship campus, which cost RM160mil to build, overawed visitors with its majestic ship design and triggered the VIPs’ curiosity about its presence in the Batu Kawan Industrial Park (BKIP).
PKT Logistics Group chief executive and managing director Datuk Seri Dr Michael Tio had anticipated the question and immediately addressed it in his keynote speech.
“You have seen universities built in rural areas and sometimes even near jungles. You wonder what the students are going to do when they graduate. They serve the industries nearby.
“Similarly, The Ship campus serves the needs of the manufacturing and logistic companies in BKIP.
“If we can train doctors in hospitals, why can’t we train logisticians and engineers in an industrial park?” Tio asked.
According to Tio, Malaysia is already facing a shortage of logisticians.
He said the logistics industry would expand in the next few years to become Asean’s next logistics hub.
“That’s why PKT is actively building warehouses. But to ensure the sustainability of the sector, talent development is crucial.
“Hence, we do not only focus on hardware but also software,” Tio said.
The Ship campus will produce talents for the BKIP.
Strategically located in the BKIP, The Ship campus trains students under its Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) education to multiply graduates and youth employment opportunities.
Tio said the campus would grow in tandem with the BKIP and support other states and national agendas.
“We are the first campus to coach students for the needs of industries in an industrial park. The Ship campus already has prime hardware.
“Subsequently, we will generate a milieu conducive to supporting the synergistic endeavours of students, businesses, government and community leaders.
“Our bespoke campus-in-industry model enables students to acquire veritable working experience while studying.
“The campus reconciles theory and practice, bestowing them with the education and experience to compete in the job market,” Tio said during the official launching of The Ship campus on May 24.
Located on a 306,419-sq-ft site, The Ship campus, with a nautical-themed design, will groom skilled workers and entrepreneurs while also serving as a hub for providing food and beverage and lifestyle facilities in the BKIP.
“The campus has state-of-the-art facilities to accommodate students, tenants and their businesses, the BKIP community, TVET upskilling, events and leisure activities.
“PKT’s education arm – the 4,000 capacity Peninsula College Malaysia – is based here while maintaining its two other satellite campuses in the Klang Valley,” he said.
At the ceremony, Yayasan PKT presented scholarships of nearly RM2mil for local students to attend Peninsula College and support local polytechnics.
Yayasan PKT also vowed to donate RM1mil to the state government for its proposed education fund to nurture young Penangites.
Yang Di-Pertua Negri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak witnessed the event.
Ahmad Fuzi said The Ship campus was an impressive iconic building with a unique design.
“I am confident that this campus will play an important role in the educational and economic development of Penang, particularly in the field of logistics,” he said.
Meanwhile, Penang Chief Minister II Prof Dr P. Ramasamy said the pandemic dealt a severe blow to the business community over the past two years.
He said while many halted their expansion plans, PKT Logistics Group decided to brave the storm and invested RM160mil to construct The Ship campus.
“Penang sees a continuous investment inflow from medical device companies for disposable and electronics-based products.
“The BKIP houses over 160 companies, comprising foreign multinational corporations and large local companies requiring skilled workers.
“The advent of The Ship campus as a talent hub in the Batu Kawan community is timely and a boon for business and the area’s emerging townships.
“We are delighted to welcome The Ship campus as an ally from the private sector to enhance Penang’s TVET education and accelerate the industry’s IR 4.0 adoption rate,” he said.
The VIPs witnessed a water salute ceremony to kick off the launch.
Fire engines from the Malaysia Volunteers Corps Department expelled plumes of water on the campus to commemorate the special occasion.