University of Automotive Malaysia (DHU), is gearing up to meet the brisk demand for manpower in the automotive sector which will require some 700,000 workers in the next two years. This is in view of the penchant demand for cars, growth of the country’s auto ecosystem and for Malaysia to emerge as a regional automotive hub, vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Omar Osman said in a statement yesterday.

Besides upskilling DHU graduates with practical auto industry technologies to support the local market, he said the university’s plan, going forward, was “to work at the Asean level with our counterparts in Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, China and even India” to cater to the regional job market capacity. Datuk Omar said the automotive industry would grow throughout the entire supply chain, from service centres to manufacturing operations and after-sales-services to meet customers’ demand.

This being the case, he pointed out that potentially new growth areas in the automotive sector included motor sports, health and safety. Nevertheless, the most popular course here is automotive service technology which enrols the most number of students, he said.
Datuk Omar said DHU was well aware of the suggestions for another national car project which might be an electric vehicle or a hybrid, for which the university stands “ready to roll out the necessary manpower that may be needed.” In view of this, the university was working closely with the relevant agencies and ministries associated with the auto sector and the Education Ministry, he said.

As a university, DHU is cognizant of the fact that the auto industry was evolving rapidly encompassing advances in electronics, mechanisation as well as robotics.
To this end, DHU was offering relevant technical and engineering courses, including arming students with hands-on-ability that enhanced their employability.
“DHU students pursue courses that support the automotive ecosystem in line with evolving needs of the industry,” he added.

Adhering to the motto of “university by industry for industry,” he said DHU had already developed academic programmes catering to industry needs. This is further complemented by the backing of the DRB-Hicom Bhd group and supported by 60 companies involved in automobile manufacturing, assembly, components manufacturing, services, banking and also properties.
The university, located in Pekan, is regarded as the “Detroit of Malaysia” and is very closely linked to the industry, Omar said, adding that DHU graduates had proven to be very good auto engineers. “DHU is poised to make a mark not only academically in higher education, but in the auto sector as well,” he concluded.