PETALING JAYA: The 1Malaysia Globally Recognised Industry and Professional Certif i c a t i on (1MalaysiaGRIP) training and upskilling programme has hit the ground with a thud.
The government has directed t he discontinuation of t he programme, which was meant to upgrade skills of workers under the auspices of the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF).
The order came after employers made several complaints, including claims that HRDF had acted
by “transferring employers’ contributions to a consolidated fund”.
Employers contribute 1% of their total payroll to HRDF. Out of this contribution, 30% is used for the 1MalaysiaGRIP programme.
As of last year, RM86.3 million had been taken from employers’ individual accounts and allocated to the 1MalaysiaGRIP programme.
However, only RM15.2 million was utilised, leaving about RM71.1 million, which HRDF chief executive Datuk C.M. Vignaesvaran said in a circular dated Dec 22, would be put into a consolidated fund.
Employers now want the money returned to their respective individual accounts.
Sources said the government was told the programme brought little benefit while taking a big chunk of the levy paid by employers. It was also argued that putting the money in a consolidated fund was unnecessary and done arbitrarily.
HRDF set up the consolidated fund last year without any consultation and claimed its directors who approved it were members of trade bodies, including the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers, the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), SMI Association of Malaysia and the various chambers of commerce.
Following protests from employers, HRDF held a series of meetings to “explain the rationale for the consolidated fund”. But it was accused of “shoving it down the throats of employers” despite vehement protests.
HRDF had claimed it is entitled to use the funds in “any manner it deems fit” because employers were not using the funds to upgrade the skills of workers.
Besides HRDF-registered employees, the programme was also open to non-registered employees who would be funded supposedly through a RM150 million matching government grant allocated specifically for the programme.
Sources said contributions from the government had not been forthcoming because of the present financial situation.
Hence, it was felt that it would be grossly unfair to carry out the programme using employers’ funds for those who do not contribute to HRDF.
It is learnt that the issue was brought up by the private sector during a meeting of Special Task Force on Service Delivery (Pemudah) where it was extensively debated.
In a circular to employers, Vignaesvaran said: “Referring to the Pemudah meeting held on July 28 chaired by the chief secretary to the government, it was instructed that 1MalaysiaGRIP be phased out.
However, it is not immediately known if the remaining money in the consolidated fund would be returned to employers.
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