KUALA LUMPUR: The 1MGRIP programme is necessary for Malaysia to achieve the government’s aim of having 33% skilled workers by 2020, said Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) CEO Datuk CM Vignaesvaran Jeyandran.
The 1Malaysia Globally Recognised Industry and Professional programme aims to nudge employers towards signing employees up for training that will increase their marketable skill sets and income levels, as well as company productivity.
“A properly-tuned workforce increases foreign investment,” said Vignaesvaran.
Under the 1MGRIP programme, the government allocated RM100mil, with another RM100mil coming from the HRDF.
The HRDF contribution comes from 30% of the unused levy payment from employers registered with the fund.
“In 2014, our studies showed that only 1% of employers claiming for training under the HRDF were claiming for certified training. The other 99% focused on things like team-building and motivation,” said Vignaesvaran, speaking at a press conference recently.
He said that while team building is important, it doesn’t up-skill workers.
“We want to certify workers and therefore see an increase in their income,” said Vignaesvaran.
He added that HRDF research had shown that with certification training such as in IT skills, there had been cases in which income had risen by 20%.
A February report in The Star quoted Vignaesvaran as saying that the unused levy stood at RM1bil this year.
At the press conference, he also said that as fund managers, the HRDF was looking to evolve in terms of results, but that the choice of training was solely up to the employers.
This move also flips the training playing field from supply-driven to demand-driven, with employers relying less on trainers to set the agenda, said Vignaesvaran.
When the move was announced, some employers wanted the unused portion of the levy to be returned to contributors.
Vignaesvaran said that there is no way that the fund could be misappropriated on his watch.
“The decision of what training to implement is solely from the employers under a self-auditing system, similar to what the LHDNM is doing. If red flags are raised, we investigate,” said Vignaesvaran.
Another concern raised was that larger corporations might benefit more from a pool fund, rather than SMEs – because they would have more personnel to send for training.
But Muhamed Ali Hajah Mydin, chairman of the Federation of Malaysian Skills Development Centres (FMSDC) said that the 1MGRIP programme would actually benefit SMEs more, because MNCs tended to have their own internal training programmes already.
“Also, this is a better way than just enacting policy that raises the minimum wage. In this way, we are looking to raise both the wages and productivity.”
“If smaller companies are concerned that sending their employees for training might impact productivity, online training is also claimable,” said Vignaeswaran.
Vignaesvaran said that the HRDF was in discussion with the Government to amend legislation to be more inclusive across industries and increase its coverage. Currently, the HRDF extends across 63 sub-sectors encompassing more than 400,000 businesses.
“We are also looking at investing in data technology that will predict the future skills that are needed,” he said.
news source & image credits: thestar.com.my