Malaysia’s Ministry of Education has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK’s Institute of Motor Industry (IMI). Central to the MoU is the delivery of training support across a network of community colleges in Malaysia to enhance the skills of automotive professionals, particularly on the subject of hybrid and electric vehicles.

“The MoU with the Malaysia Ministry of Education is to train candidates on hybrid and electric vehicles, utilising a network of community colleges, with a target of training 1,000 candidates in the next 12 months,” said IMI CEO Steve Nash.

“The Malaysian government has called for the country’s retail motor industry to upgrade the skills and capabilities of its workforce to support the growth potential of the sector. And this is particularly focussed on hybrid and electric vehicles which, with their tax-free advantages in Malaysia, have grown significantly in the last few years, as evidenced by the fact that there are now more than 20,000 such vehicles on the country’s roads.”

The MoU was announced at Malaysia’s Life Long Learning Carnival at the end of 2013 as part of the launch of a technology centre for hybrid and electric vehicles. Through its partnership with IMI Awards, IMI believes it can give local training providers the very best qualifications and accreditations for their candidates, while guaranteeing the quality of trainers, equipment, as well as internal and external verification.

“Malaysia’s automotive industry has a strong existing workforce and has the talent to grow by leaps and bounds,” said Nash. “But it is critical that this workforce is equipped to handle the emerging technologies that are being adopted across the sector. By helping employees to upgrade their skills and capabilities through IMI qualifications and accreditations, Malaysia’s retail motor industry stands to gain from an empowered workforce.”

The full import and excise duty exemption for electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles with engines displacing under 2.0 litres has just expired with the end of 2013, following no update on the matter throughout the year. Many, including industry players, are waiting with bated breath for the announcement of the latest revision of the National Automotive Policy (NAP 2014), expected to happen later this month, to know what happens next. More details here.