The International Skills Partnerships (ISP) projects bring together organisations from the UK and overseas with similar challenges and priorities to share knowledge, create opportunities and devise new approaches to skills development, which is central to our mission to internationalise vocational education and training and enhance employability of young people.

This partnership was designed so that partners could enhance vocational programmes and outcomes for learners through curriculum development driven by closer collaboration with employers. The project was funded and supported by both the British Council (UK) and the Economic Planning Unit (Malaysia) in partnership with the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education. Employer partners were also secured in both countries. Carsem, which is part of the Hong Leong Manufacturing Group, collaborated with Polytechnic Ungku Omar which is one of leading TVET institutions in Malaysia, whilst in the UK, West Lothian College students are working with Mitsubishi Electric. 

This project involved partners in Malaysia and the UK working together to reform curriculum in a specific subject area, which has been identified by a beneficiary employer as necessary to enhance future employees work-readiness. Following discussions with employers and partners, including MoHE, in both the UK and Malaysia it was agreed to collaborate closely to revise and reform the curriculum so that learners will have all the technical and non technical skills as well as industry specific skills to be able to integrate much better into waiting companies than is currently the case. In Malaysia the curriculum was revised and reformed so that learners can be fully prepared to integrate to the semi-conductor industry and in the UK reform was to enable learners to be more ready to undertake work in a manufacture engineering environment. The curriculum reform was structured in both countries to ensure that learners’ and employers’ needs are right at the centre of all activity. Employers will facilitate training and work experience on their premises and learners will be supported to integrate to existing environments, facilitating future transitions to employment.

The project was successfully concluded in January 2018 with a showcase in Malaysia, where students from Polytechnic Ungku Omar and West Lothian College presented the outcomes based on their experiences taking part in the project.  Thanks to the strong support and commitment from DPCC, the project also won the British Council ISP award in 2017, for Sustainable Collaboration. One very exciting and specific outcome has been student mobility as a result of these projects.

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