News Release

Cisco, MDeC and University of Malaya Collaborate on SME-Focused Training Program

Innovative Internship Program Trains ICT Specialists for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
May 24, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, May 21, 2010 - Cisco today announced a collaboration with the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) to develop the Cisco® Industrial Training Programme (CiTP). The parties, together with the University of Malaya, hope to establish a unique undergraduate internship programme to identify and train skilled information and communications technology (ICT) networking specialists for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

CiTP will offer on-the-job training opportunities for computer science undergraduate students at the University of Malaya. The interns will be selected from a group of students currently undergoing the Cisco CCNA® curriculum with an excellent academic record. Cisco will prepare the interns through an intensive two-week training programme where they will learn business soft skills to complement their technical knowledge. At the end of this training, students will be assigned to an SME in the MSC Malaysia (formerly known as the Multimedia Super Corridor) to manage and maintain the company's ICT and networking environment for six months. These participating SMEs would be appointed by MDeC.

"Cisco has consistently contributed to the development of skilled ICT networking specialists in Malaysia through the Cisco Networking Academy® programme. CiTP is yet another important initiative centred on a holistic model that delivers true value for students and SMEs," said Anne Abraham, managing director of Cisco Malaysia.

SMEs constitute more than 90 percent of businesses and employ some 65 percent of the total workforce in Malaysia. This market segment is also expected to contribute 37 percent to Malaysia's gross domestic income by end of this year, making them significant to local economic growth.¹ SMEs are always on the lookout for technologies that enable them to focus on business priorities, increase productivity for their business.

"CiTP provides SMEs with the opportunity to realize and reap the benefits of having qualified networking interns and the right talent managing the organisations' network, systems and business. The interns, on the other hand, will be exposed to and work on resolving real situations in a live work environment, often regarded as unique in IT requirements and challenges. The programme would certainly accelerate their learning curve and experience, and eventually cultivate a higher-quality talent pool for the ICT workforce," added Abraham.

As networks continue to transform the way people connect, communicate and collaborate, industry leaders are looking for more innovative ways to cultivate a workforce that can meet the growing demand for skilled professionals in this area. Currently, there are 18,000 ICT employees who are skilled in networking and security. The demand is expected to increase by 14 percent annually over the next three years. In addition, 64 percent of employees prefer to hire engineers that have Cisco certifications in networking and security.²

"The country's talent pool in the networking field is critical to the growth of MSC Malaysia and the overall ICT industry. CiTP is in line with our continuous efforts to develop and nurture a highly skilled workforce, as well as extending our role in accelerating ICT adoption among local SMEs. It tightly matches the needs of both SMEs and our workforce, which represent two key priorities that serve as a catalyst to elevate Malaysia towards a high-income economy," said Muhammad Imran Kunalan Abdullah, general manager, K-Workers Development Department, MDeC Malaysia.

The programme, currently in its pilot phase, will kick off with a total target of
50 selected undergraduates from the faculty to be assigned to designated SMEs. The preliminary training prior to the placement will begin in June, when experts will coach the interns in applicable and useful strategies, technologies, solutions and soft skills for the SME business environment.

"We are excited that our students are the first beneficiaries of CiTP. This is a good example of a public-private initiative that redefines existing education models to bridge the skills gap in Malaysia. Internships have evolved into essential pre-requisites before entering the work-force and students are assessed on the value they bring to organisations. Programs like CiTP boost students' confidence and give them a head-start when starting their professional careers," said Prof Dr Wan Ahmad Tajuddin bin Wan Abdullah, Dean, Faculty of Information Technology and Computer Science, University of Malaya.

"While we are setting the standard for a rounded internship programme, and the success of CiTP will determine the scale of implementation moving forward. Eventually, our ambition is to take it further, widen the opportunity, and establish it as an ideal model not only for our peers in the ICT sector, but also across industries in the market," Abraham said.

About MDeC

About Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) is a unique high powered government-owned corporation, established to facilitate the development and promotion of MSC Malaysia, the premier Malaysian ICT initiative. MDeC is tasked to advise the Malaysian Government on ICT legislation and policies, develop MSC Malaysia as a key growth driver of the economy and set breakthrough standards for ICT and multimedia operations. MDeC also promotes MSC Malaysia locally and globally, as well as supports companies which are located within the MSC Malaysia designated areas.

About University of Malaya

University of Malaya, Malaysia's oldest university was established in April 1949 in Singapore with the merger of the King Edward VII College of Medicine (founded in 1905) and Raffles College (founded in 1928). The mission of the university is to advance knowledge and learning through quality research and education for the nation and for humanity. Currently, His Royal Highness The Sultan of Perak Darul Ridzuan is the Chancellor of the University of Malaya. Ghauth Jasmon was appointed as the tenth Vice-Chancellor of University of Malaya on 8th November 2008. Information about University of Malaya can be found at:

(1) The SME Annual Report 2008, National SME Development Council, Nov 2009

(2) Supply-Demand Study of the ICT Industry, MSC Malaysia, Jun 2009