Upskilling and Reskilling More Tunnel Experts
06 Nov 2020 | Gamuda Berhad

For years, we have racked up profound knowledge and expertise in tunnelling works through the diverse underground construction jobs in Malaysia and overseas. These include the world’s first dual-purpose Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART), the Western Kuala Lumpur Traffic Dispersal Scheme (SPRINT), the Electrified Double Track Project (Ipoh – Padang Besar), Kaohsiung Metropolitan MRT in Taiwan, the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Kajang Line, as well as the ongoing MRT Putrajaya Line.

Upskilling and Reskilling More Tunnel Experts
MRT Putrajaya Line is on track for the full opening by January 2023.

Our organisation places social sustainability at the forefront of every mega infrastructure project we undertake. We believe that our specialised skill set should be imparted to enrich and accredit new generations of youths, as it will sustain and upskill the local workforce support. We believe this type of engagement will collectively raise the bar and allow us to achieve a high global standard and to move our local workforce up the value chain.

That is why in 2011, we invested RM10 million to set up the Tunnelling Training Academy (TTA) in Shah Alam, Selangor. It levelled the demands for the construction of the MRT Kajang Line project. As the world’s first learning institution specialised in Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) technology, TTA aids in minimising the need to hire foreign labour for construction projects. It also promotes the standard of Malaysia’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) initiative. Annually, an additional RM2 million is utilised for the operations of the TTA.

Working closely with the Education Ministry, Human Resources Ministry, the Youth and Sports Ministry and other leading TVET institutions in Malaysia such as Institut Latihan Perindustrian (ILP) and Akademi Binaan Malaysia (ABM), we have trained about 1,000 graduates through the academy.

Upskilling and Reskilling More Tunnel Experts
Since TTA’s inception in 2011, we have trained about 1,000 trainees with specialised skills needed for tunnelling works and machinery.

TTA’s trainees undergo specialised TBM training modules, jointly developed by Gamuda and international experts from Siemens, Bosch and Herrenknecht. Trainees will undergo theory and simulator training before being posted to MRT project sites and some to our first TBM Refurbishment Plant in Pusing, Ipoh.

The training modules take up to 16 weeks covering specialised training, TBM operation, tunnel electrical application, ring building, cutting disc changing, and bi-component grouting. It equips the graduates for positions ranging from assistant TBM operator, erector operator, tunnel mechanic and electrician as well as tunnel crew. In line with Gamuda’s objective to upskill Malaysians, we have also promoted a significant number of TTA graduates by providing them with career growth opportunities.

Upskilling and Reskilling More Tunnel Experts
A significant number of TTA graduates were later promoted to become electricians, mechanics, operators and supervisors, in line with Gamuda’s objective to upskill Malaysians.

Globally, as the demand for tunnel-related expertise grows, TTA takes the opportunity to collaborate with international players such as Siemens and Bosch to secure the best solutions at hand in our tunnelling works. TTA and Siemens collaborated to localise a course on Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) module for tunnel electricians. By mastering the PLC, one can control what is essentially the brains of the TBM as well as equipped trainees with the understanding of the mechanism that controls the Variable Density Tunnel Boring Machine (VD TBM).

TTA also invested in Bosch training facilities through the VD TBM’s electro-hydraulic system to train tunnel mechanics on the mechanical and hydraulic components of the TBM. 

With the success of TTA in Malaysia, we are replicating our best practices on a global scale. To support the Group’s expansion in the Australian infrastructure market, there are  plans underway to inaugurate another TTA in Australia. This will provide skill and knowledge transfer to the workforce for the benefits of the global tunnelling industry.