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LUMUT: VALE Malaysia Minerals Sdn Bhd of Teluk Rubiah, Perak, added another feather in its cap by embarking on the Vale Apprenticeship Programme and Junior Apprenticeship Programme.
The programmes were held in collaboration with Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL)'s Malaysian Institute of Marine Engineering Technology (MIMET) and Institut Kemahiran Mara (IKM).
The sustainable programmes saw 61 SPM holders from the pioneer Batch 01 receiving their certificates recently, after six months of on-the-job training in Vale Malaysia Minerals starting from last July.
The graduating apprentices, aged between 22 and 27 years, included 11 women and comprised SPM holders.
UniKL MIMET Lumut dean, Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Mansor Salleh, officiated the recent graduation ceremony at the campus hall, here.
Among the three pioneer apprentices who graduated were top students 22-year-old Wilbert Jaquim Arokiasamy, and Ramas Raman and Sampanthan Renugoval, both 23. All of them hailed from the Manjung district.
Mohamad, when presenting UniKL president Professor Dr Mazliham Suud's speech, said UniKL, established in August 2002 and wholly owned by Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara), promoted the concept of "one institute, one specialisation".
He said: "UniKL not only contributes to the education sector, but also to research and development for commercialisation. The strategic locations of the 11 branch campuses nationwide allow UniKL to offer various programmes in numerous specialised areas."
UniKL has a total of 20,430 students currently enrolled in its campuses, which over the years had produced 19,877 graduates who have built successful careers nationally and internationally.
Meanwhile, Vale Malaysia Minerals project portfolio director, Marcelo Figueiredo, said since setting foot in Lumut in 2011, it was the company's desire to be a long-term partner of the community.
"We believe the Apprenticeship and Junior Apprenticeship Programmes are essential investments for the development of local talents and will create mutual benefits for Vale, the community and the state," he said.
Also speaking at the graduation ceremony was Vale pre-operations general manager, Andre Kopperschmidt, who highlighted that throughout its recruitment process, Vale always prioritised Malaysians.
The graduation ceremony, which bade farewell to the 61 graduates of Batch 01 and welcomed 82 new apprentices under Batch 02, which included 12 women.
The ceremony also served to kick-start the Vale Junior Apprenticeship Programme with IKM Lumut. This programme was specially for fishermen's children from Manjung Selatan and Pulau Pangkor.
The 54 selected youths, aged between 18 and 25 years, including seven women, will undergo 12 months of theory and practical training at the IKM Lumut campus.
Speaking on behalf of Batch 01 graduates, Wilbert Jaquim Arokiasamy said Vale had given them a "unique and memorable opportunity for the betterment of their future".
Nor Huda Daud, 24, was happy that, having successfully completed the programme, a whole world of opportunity now awaited her.
Nurizzati Shaffien, 27, from Batch 02, said she was optimistic that Vale would provide her with opportunities to become an achiever.
Junior apprentice Shukor Salleh Beharom, 23, said he would use the programme to reach his goals.
Among those present at the graduation ceremony were Orang Besar Jajahan Manjung Datuk Ab Wahab Azizul Hassan, who was attired in the honorary Captain rank of the Royal Malaysian Navy; MARA Perak director Rusnah Yusoff; and UniKL MIMET Lumut deputy dean (student affairs and technopreneur) Associate Professor Zainorin Mohamad.