KUCHING (June 21): The Sarawak government will be offering professionals working in strategic economic sectors, such as energy and the digital industry, a five-year work permit, rescinding the current practice of renewing the permits annually in an attempt to attract in-demand global talents to its shores.
"Any professional who will be serving any company from strategic sectors will be able to apply for a five-year work permit directly instead of annually,” said Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Abang Johari was speaking at a media conference at the fifth International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS) 2022 held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on Tuesday (June 21).
The specifics of the “strategic sectors” will be announced at a later date. He added that the state government will be engaging the Immigration Department to roll out the plan in the next couple of months.
Talent development is the core focus Sarawak's digital economy ambitions and part of its post-Covid development strategies.
In his opening address for IDECS 2022, Abang Johari said that the state's Ministry of Education, Innovation and Talent Development (MEITD), universities, TVETS and technical colleges are addressing the skill needs for digital economy.
One of its efforts includes the establishment of the Digital Academy at the Centre of Technical Excellence Sarawak (CENTEXS) in 2019.
"The Academy is established in partnership with the multinational technology companies, including Eon Reality, Huawei, Bosch Rexroth, Keysight, and others. Later today, we will be witnessing our partnership with Microsoft," said Abang Johari.
In its Post Covid Development Strategy 2030 report, the state aspires for 100% of the population access to accredited science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) training and education online, as well as engaging 3,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) researchers for every million people in Sarawak.