Sarawak’s determined and imaginative efforts to help young people and other citizens develop the skills that will be needed for the state’s bright future have been highlighted by a string of major events in the last few months.

In August, the biggest of these events, Myskills Fair 2015 Wilayah Sarawak @ World TEVT Conference 2015, attracted more than 800 delegates from 28 countries to the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching for three days of discussion and expert talks.

The conference was opened by the Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, and participants included the British High Commissioner, Her Excellency Mrs Victoria Treadell.

In her keynote speech, Vicki Treadell, who was born in Ipoh, spoke of the historic links between the UK and Malaysia.

The High Commissioner promised she would work closely with the state government to develop the technical and vocational training opportunities that would shape Sarawak’s industrialised future. She also urged the state government to follow the example of Skills Johor and set up a technical and vocational training hub to help in the task of creating a workforce equipped with modern and relevant skills.

This important conference, organised jointly by the Sarawak Skills Development Centre and the International Vocational Education and Training Association, featured many exhibitors, including RECODA, which was able to provide delegates with up-to-the-minute news on SCORE, Sarawak’s Corridor of Renewable Energy.

The focus shifted to Miri in September, for the two-day Sarawak Career and Training Fair (SCaT Fair) at the Miri Indoor Stadium, which brought together students, jobseekers and employers from a wide area for a programme of talks, discussions and even walk-in job interview sessions. Participants heard that tremendous opportunities lay ahead, and that Sarawak would need far more professionals and skilled workers than are currently being trained, with SCORE set to generate 1.3m new jobs in the next few years.

Also this autumn, the young people who will make up tomorrow’s workforce took centre stage themselves at a series of Forum Belia TEGAS events in Kuching, Miri and Mukah, designed around the theme ‘From youth, for youth and by youth’. There have also been a number of smaller-scale events, such as a visit by students from the Lodge National Secondary School to Samalaju Industrial Park, where RM239million (US$80million) is being spent on the infrastructure to support the rapid development that will create nearly 5,500 jobs by 2020.