By THE STAR
SHAH ALAM: Gamuda Plant Operator School (GPOS), originally set up by Gamuda Bhd to address the different competency levels of its plant operators, has evolved to become the place for training skilled personnel in the construction industry.
It is now considered the leading non-profit provider of competency-based training in heavy construction plant operations, having churned out more than 22,000 trainees since it was established in 1997.
Gamuda group general manager of human resources development Hasnah Mohammed said the school was initially meant to meet the company’s own needs.
“At that time, we were building the Shah Alam Expressway and other projects. We had 400 operators and found that there was an inconsistent level of competence among them.
“As an experienced construction and infrastructure developer, we know the level needed for us to be cost effective and efficient in completing each project,” she said during a recent media visit to the school.
Thus, Gamuda invested RM10mil in machinery, building, teaching aids and trainers’ certification.
“We picked the best operators from our own worksite and trained them to become trainers, developed training modules and put all the 400 operators through the same training to ensure consistency in their capabilities.
“After that, we thought we might as well offer the courses to the public to benefit the construction industry,” Hasnah added.
Hasnah said GPOS had also assisted youth, especially non-academically inclined school leavers and those from the rural areas who wish to enter the construction industry.
She said up to RM1.2mil was spent annually to maintain GPOS. To date, Gamuda has invested RM20mil by providing a pool of qualified trainers, training equipment, as well as operations and maintenance of the school.
GPOS operations manager Chong Tshun Ming said the school offered three categories of training – skills competency, awareness and youth apprenticeship programmes.
These programmes enable plant operators to obtain a nationally recognised Certificate of Competency. It covers tower crane, crawler crane, mobile crane, gantry/overhead crane, forklift, backhoe loader, wheel loader, bulldozer and hydraulic excavator operations.