Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh (left) said the three-month programme is today taking in the first 50 engineering graduates from universities in Malaysia and abroad for the programme.(Pix by Farizul Hafiz Awang)

KUANTAN: The East Coast Rail Link Industrial Skills Training Programme (PLKI-ECRL) aims to attract 3,600 trainees who will be part of the ambitious 688km rail network project by 2022.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the three-month programme is today taking in the first 50 engineering graduates from universities in Malaysia and abroad for the programme.

He said that from that pioneering number of 50, 29 trainees are graduates of bachelors degree in civil, mechanical and electrical engineering, while 21 are diploma holders.

He said the pioneering 50 trainees would undergo the training at the Gambang campus of Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), with the module being a joint effort with China's Beijing Jiatong University and Southwest Jiatong University.

"Trainees who have completed the three-month training under PLKI-ECRL programme will be automatically offered jobs by either MRL (Malaysia Rail Link Company) or CCCC (China Communications Construction Company) or by their respective subcontractors.

"UMP has been appointed as the Focal University for PLKI-ECRL programme due to the cooperation of the Ministry of Higher Education with Malaysia Rail Link, and for the successful completion of the East Coast Rail Link project, launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (on Aug 9)," he said.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a meet-and-greet session for the first intake of 50 trainees here tonight.

Also present were UMP vice-chancellor Datuk Dr Daing Nasir, MRL chief executive officer Darwis Abdul Razak, and CCCC managing director Bai Yinzhan.

Meanwhile, Idris said the trainees would receive an allowance of RM1,000 a month for degree holders while diploma holders would receive RM900 a month.

He said around 300 trainees would be taken into PLKI-ECRL by December; 400 next year; 1,200 in 2019; 700 in 2020; 500 in 2021; and 500 in 2022.

He added that UMP, through the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, would introduce an elective related to rail technology this semester.

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