The Japanese-sponsored project is part of a joint initiative to enhance co-operation between the Japanese and Malaysian automotive industries under the Japan-Malaysia Economic Partnership Agreement signed last December. It came into force in July.
Dubbed as the "train the trainers programmme", Japanese automobile experts will arrive in Malaysia later this year to draw out a comprehensive training programme to further develop the local automobile sector, which is more than 20 years old.
"Without training capabilities, it is difficult to learn state-of-the-art technology in the automobile industry," Tsuneo Tanaka, managing director of the Japan External Trade Organisation's (JETRO) Kuala Lumpur office, told Bernama in an interview here.
"The overall knowledge and skill level of technologists working in the Malaysian automobile industry have yet to reach the competitive level in the world market.
"The Malaysian government itself recognised this and had requested the Japanese government to assist in this field," he said.
The primary objective of the Skills Training Centre is to foster world-class technologists while offering introductory to advanced training courses to raise the competency of auto industry workers from the novice to top-class levels at the same time.
To be located at Shah Alam, the training centre, mainly for leaders in the local automotive industry, will also act as a model institute for existing public vocational training schools in Malaysia.
Tanaka said a preliminary study team from Japan which was despatched to Malaysia earlier found that the existing training system was inadequate.
The team members had found that advanced training was crucial for the further progress of the Malaysian automotive sector.
Under the initial proposed five-year programme, the centre will train advanced technologists into master trainers who will then play a key role in training co-workers at their respective companies.
During the first three years of the training project, the curriculum for local trainers will be developed and the actual training will only begin three years later.
"In the following two years, training courses will be progressively launched and the centre will spread the state-of-the-art training know-how to more automotive industry workers later, Tanaka said.