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After Malaysia success, IMI aims to spread wings wide

The Otomotif College was established in 2005 to provide automotive industry training.

The Otomotif College was established in 2005 to provide automotive industry training.

BRITAIN’s Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) will accelerate its progress in Malaysia as part of an international strategy which will see the institute moving into new countries using the blueprint and best practices developed in Malaysia.

“Malaysia is our most established base outside UK and it is the only country which we have maintained a local presence over the past decade,” IMI CEO Steve Nash said in a statement on Monday.

“Our presence here has provided us with a significant test bed to help ensure our qualifications are suitable for an international audience. Our plan is now to leverage the same blueprint to expand our presence in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and China as well as Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.”

Since its establishment in Malaysia more than 10 years ago, the IMI has been working closely with automotive players to enable them to become IMI approved centres to offer internationally recognized IMI qualifications.

Early last year, it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Malaysia Ministry of Education to provide training support across a network of community colleges in Malaysia to enhance the skills of automotive professionals, particularly focusing on electric and hybrid vehicles.

IMI chief Steve Nash

IMI chief Steve Nash

Currently, the IMI has 24 approved centres in Malaysia, comprising of automotive companies such as Peugeot distributor, Nasim Sdn Bhd and community colleges such as Kepala Batas Community College and The Otomotif College.

“Many of the automotive players in Malaysia now are already IMI approved centres. So going forward, we will be focusing on increasing the number of accreditations being offered through the centres. We have an average of 1,500 Malaysian training candidates registered on IMI courses every year and the numbers have been growing steadily”, said Matthew Stuart, Senior Manager of IMI South-East Asia.

IMI’s plans in Malaysia for 2015 will see them continuing to focus on delivering industry-leading qualifications to bridge the skills gap in a rapidly evolving automotive industry, and in line with emerging technologies such as those involving hybrid vehicles.

There are also plans to hold seminars as well as to set up an online forum to engage industry players.

“With Malaysia’s robust automotive market and multi-lingual and multi-cultural setting, our success here provides us with important learnings to enter into new international markets,” Nash said.

“We believe there is potential for us to double in size over the coming years in Malaysia as well as extend our reach further into other countries, cementing our position as the leading internationally-recognised automotive accreditation organisation.”

Nash will visit Malaysia in March to assess the requirements of existing centres as well as meet with key automotive organisations and relevant government bodies to further discuss how vocational training and accreditation can positively influence Malaysia’s automotive industry.

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