CULTIVATING A SKILLED NATION
Professional people in specialised jobs needed to drive last leg of achieving high-income status
THE Human Resources Ministry has a vision to spearhead the development of world-class human capital, with a target of producing 35 per cent of the country’s skilled workforce by 2020.
Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem said in line with this aspiration, the theme “Creative Workers Spur Innovation” has been chosen for this year’s Workers’ Day celebration.
“The theme embodies the need and importance of nurturing creative and innovative workers in view of changes in the economic structure and national development priorities for the next five years.”
Richard said developing human capital is one of the strategic thrusts under the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020).
“The government is set to strengthen and uphold technical and vocational education and training (TVET) to produce highly-skilled workers. Under the 2017 Budget, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said TVET capacities will be enhanced.
“Tremendous opportunities to enrol in skills courses will be offered to school leavers and workers who wish to pick up new skills.
“It is also available for those who like to up-skill or re-skill themselves, as well as professionals to get more training in line with their work requirements.”
Richard said the government continuously encouraged industries to move up the value chain through high-quality investments.
“At the same time, the government will attract investors with priority to develop knowledge and innovation.
“Therefore, talent, ability and creativity in highly-skilled jobs are among the critical factors to generate, sustain and fulfil the country’s plan for economic growth.
“Besides that, as preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, workers need to equip themselves with skills and knowledge to stay relevant and competitive in the job market,” Richard said.
The ministry has embarked on various initiatives to realise its vision of developing and managing a highly-skilled human capital.
“The initiatives include participating in activities that promote creativity and innovation like trade competitions, such as the International Invention and Innovation and Technology Exhibition through the Manpower Department.”
Richard said the department also organised its own Creative and Innovative Technology Competition (Citec) for students in public and private skills training institutes (ILKA and ILKS), as well as universities. “Through these competitions, lecturers, instructors and students can exchange knowledge, skills and expertise to optimise resources and solve problems in creative and constructive ways.”
He said the country’s focus on TVET will ensure the production of world-class human capital, which is required in its last leg towards achieving highincome status by 2020.
The government has also declared this year as TVET Year.
The ministry has taken various steps to widen access to TVET training, in which ILKAs play an important role. To date, there are 531 ILKAs established under various ministries and government agencies, which offer courses that cater to the needs of industries.
To encourage enrolment, the Skills Development Fund Corporation provides financial assistance for school leavers and workers to pursue training at the institutes.
Besides that, Richard said the Dual National Training System Programme will be incorporated in the 1Malaysia Skills Training and Enhancement for the Rakyat (1Master), which will be conducted in collaboration with ILKAs.
“It will optimise the role of the training institutes and maximise industry participation in developing a skilled workforce.”
Richard said the TVET courses will also be reviewed and improved based on the National Occupational Skills Standard (NOSS).
“In developing and improving the NOSS, input from industry players will ensure that the programmes meet job market demands.”
Moreover, the management of TVET courses has been upgraded. The curriculum is based on a single accreditation system used by the Skills Development Department and Malaysian Qualifications Agency.
Richard said as the government offers training programmes to develop a skilled workforce, the ministry is also promoting job vacancies at its JobsMalaysia portal.
“The Manpower Department will match the workers with potential employers,” he said.
In developing the portal, the ministry has considered the use of the “intelligent function” to match jobseekers and employers.
In the real world, JobsMalaysia has been running outreach programmes through its JobsMalaysia Centres (JMC) since September 2012.
JMC has organised activities like open interviews and career carnivals, job placement programmes in collaboration with the private sector, holiday placements for university students and organising a special group placement programme for vulnerable people, such as single mothers, the disabled, former drug addicts, former convicts, the homeless and retirees.
To date, JMCs are operating in nine Urban Transformation Centres nationwide. Richard said they will soon be rebranded as National Employment Services Centres.
As of last year, about 176,105 jobseekers have secured placements through various programmes organised by the Manpower Department in Peninsular Malaysia.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak visiting a skills training college in Port Klang recently.
JobsMalaysia has been running outreach programmes through its JobsMalaysia Centres since September 2012.
Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem