We just got back from Perodua’s sprawling base at Sungai Choh where 20 fresh grads from Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UNiMAP) have just completed a six-month Digital Engineering and Prototyping training programme. Twelve of them underwent training at Perodua R&D, two each at Sipro Plastic Industries and Ingress Technologies, and four others at Sapura Industrial. The three companies are Perodua vendors.

Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir was there to present the certificates to the trainees. Those who trained at Perodua have been given temporary positions at the company for a year.

This Digital Engineering and Prototyping (DEP) training programme was created by the Malaysian Automotive Institute (MAI), which is a non-profit organisation under MITI. MAI’s DEP programme offers students access to high end software and hands on training. The module includes CAD (computer aided design), CAM (manufacturing), CAE (engineering), CAPE (production engineering) and Product Lifecycle Management).

Encouraged by the success of this pilot batch, MAI has expanded the next intake to 35 students, to be selected based on CGPA scores and an interview with both MAI and industry execs. Next up, MAI will work with UiTM to introduce styling design as part of the programme, which will help produce 4,600 automotive designers in five years, in line with the target set by the government.

After the scroll presentation, Dato’ Mukhriz clicked “Like” on Perodua’s new Facebook page to launch it. The MYPerodua page with the catch phrase “Lagi Best” will feature a contest to drum up fan count. Called “The Perodua Auditions”, one basically needs to show how much they love Perodua in a video to win a RM10,000 grand prize and five iPad 2s. Head on to www.facebook.com/MYPerodua to find out more.