KUCHING: IHK-Projektgesellschaft (IHK-PG) of Germany and its local partner and collaborator, Ethos Connect International, are set to begin a programme for German vocational students to spend a month’s apprenticeship period in Sarawak.

The cooperation between the two partners has also been enriched through the provision of the “Ausbildung Weltweit Program”, (a human resource training programme) sponsored by Germany’s federal ministry BMBF.

Ethos signed the cooperation agreement with IHK-PG last February during a recent official visit by Sarawak government officers to Germany.
Both companies as well as participating businesses were treated to a welcoming dinner by Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah yesterday.

In a brief meeting with the press, Karim commented that Sarawak businesses would benefit immensely from the organic relationships built within the private sector coupled with partnerships with companies from other regions.
“These collaborations will bring with them technology transfer and information sharing which will enhance the service delivery for all concerned,” he said.

The minister also congratulated Sim Ling Ling and her team from Ethos for following through with their commitments made in Germany and successfully spearheading the first batch of apprentice trainees who will be arriving soon.

“I think your plans of jointly introducing international certification in Sarawak can bring our technical and vocational education to new heights while at the same time up-skilling our local workforce and their capacity to become more competitive in the long run,” said Karim when addressing the two companies.

The minister continued to say that Sarawak welcomed the idea of having innovative German courses brought here and they includes e-Tourism, service quality management, HR employment, and train-the-trainer programmes that can also be localised.

He also congratulated Ethos and IHK-PG for undertaking the various initiatives that included fostering German expertise through a robust and long-term cooperation among key stakeholders.

“For this purpose, I was informed that both Ethos and IHK-PG have been getting renowned enterprises on board to support this programme and they include Marriott International, Sarawak Economic Corporation Development (SEDC) hotels, and Miri Housing Properties Sdn Bhd,” said Karim.

Also present at the dinner were Tourism and Culture Assistant Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin, permanent secretary to the Ministry Hii Chang Kee, and president of Sarawak Tourism Federation Audry Wan Ulok.