Above: SCaTFair offers various training and career opportunities to youths
Since its inaugural launch in December 2012, the Sarawak Career and Training Fair (SCaTFair) has been considered the best avenue for school leavers and youths to seek opportunities in further studies, training, careers and financial aid available in Sarawak.
The first SCaTFair was held 10 months after the establishment of Tabung Gagasan Ekonomi Anak Sarawak (TEGAS) as a platform for this new organisation to promote technical and vocational education and training (TVET), which was in line with the goals of the organisation.
At the time of TEGAS’s formation, Sarawak was progressing towards an industry-based economy, with rapid development and investment taking place at Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy.
From there, TEGAS played a significant role in changing the mindset of those who perceived technical fields and skills as less prospective compared with academic fields.
Thus, SCaTFair was designed as a platform for TEGAS to carry out its responsibility of finding talented and skilful local youths for the future economic needs of Sarawak.
Through the organisation of SCaTFair for nearly a decade, TEGAS has become widely known to many.
The annual career and training carnival brings together hundreds of participants from education and training institutions as well as companies from Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia whom visitors can approach when exploring their career and training options.
The event features open interviews, career talks, innovation competitions, and talents and skills in various fields including culinary, fashion design and many others.
In line with changing trends in today’s job market that is increasingly influenced by rapid technological advancement, TEGAS and its co-organiser Workforce Development Unit (WDU) of the Chief Minister’s Department constantly ensure that SCaTFair meets current needs of the State’s economy.
2017 saw the beginning of Sarawak’s digital economy transformation that was inspired by current Chief Minister YAB Datuk Patinggi (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg.
At that time, the first STEM Playground was held during the sixth SCaTFair, making it a standout from previous years.
The aim of the interactive exhibition was to cultivate interest and talent among primary and secondary school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), in line with Sarawak’s digital economy transformation vision and strategies.
The Chief Minister proposed for greater emphasis and promotion of STEM by including the field in the school curriculum in order to produce the human capital needed for Sarawak’s socio-economic development in the era of digital technology.
STEM Playground that was organised during SCaTFair 2017 saw the participation of 12 institutions of higher learning, government agencies and leading companies, namely Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), UiTM Sarawak, Politeknik Kuching, University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS), Curtin University Malaysia, Swinburne Sarawak, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Makerspace@Pustaka Negeri Sarawak, All Aboard Young Leaders Centre, PETROSAINS, Shell Malaysia and DreamCatcher.
The exhibition received encouraging responses from students and parents, and has since become a mainstay of SCaTFair.
The 2018 edition featured 18 agencies, which were Sarawak State Education Department, MDEC (#MYdigitalmaker), Shell Malaysia, Petronas, Makerspace@Pustaka Negeri Sarawak, DreamCatcher, Chumbaka, Swinburne Sarawak, Curtin University Malaysia, UCTS, UNIMAS, UiTM Sarawak, Politeknik Kuching, Petrosar Academy, Codelab, IME Group of Companies, Planetarium Sultan Iskandar and Azendian Solutions Sdn Bhd.
Moving Towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Two years after the launch of the digital economy agenda, the focus shifted to Sarawak’s preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in achieving its aspiration of becoming a developed state by 2030.
The younger generation were tasked to lead the State towards 4IR by taking full advantage of the numerous opportunities in science and technology, which was frequently emphasised by the State leadership.
In exploring 4IR, Sarawak needed to adapt its Second Industrial Revolution infrastructure to leapfrog to 4IR.
Local youths were called upon to make a difference by gaining knowledge and skills in 4IR technology such as Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), as well as creating something new by utilising available resources.
This was to ensure that Sarawak is highly competitive and capable of penetrating the global market in the digital era.
As such, the 2019 edition of STEM Playground highlighted creative approaches to innovation exploration in a fun atmosphere.
SCaTFair 2019 also featured more TVET-related activities through Go4TVET, where youths showcased their talents through demonstrations and competitions including robot football competition, photography, cake decorating skills, fruit carving and makeup challenge.
2,609 job opportunities were on offer, and the carnival had attracted 119 exhibition participants, consisting of various agencies and companies from the public and private sectors, as well as training institutions and industry players.
Furthermore, TEGAS had successfully organised the event with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research Sarawak (MESTR).