Malaysia upbeat about skills target, but has much changed?

Its HR Minister is certain of hitting the 2020 target, but does the real situation on the ground put a dampener on things?

Despite the many obstacles that Malaysia is currently facing regarding the transformation of its workforce, HR Minister Datuk Richard Riot Jaem remains optimistic that the country is well on track to hitting its target of 35% skilled workers  in the workforce by 2020.

“In 2015, we raised it to 28% and in 2016, the number increased to 31%,” he told local media at the recent launch of the Labour Market Information Data Warehouse (LMIDW) project.

“With the increase, I’m very positive that our target can be achieved.”

As previously covered in HRM Magazine’s Malaysia country report, achieving those labour numbers is tied closely with the government’s goal of also attaining high-income status by 2020.

This goal, encompassing economic, political, and social development was formalised as “Vision 2020” in 1991 and the 11th Malaysia Plan 2016-2020 represents what current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak says is the country’s “final leg” of that long race to “enter the arena of developed nations”.

But Riot had himself noted last year that the skilled talent shortage in Malaysia is proving a major roadblock to those larger economic targets.

So what has changed since then for the favourable projection revision? And perhaps more importantly, will those numbers mean much for the government’s high-income target?

Although the Malaysian education ministry has placed greater emphasis on technical and vocational education and training, institutions are still struggling to produce graduates with the right skill sets to meet the requirements in those parts of the economy.

Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan also noted that most lower-skilled workers are more concerned about keeping their current jobs than looking to upskill to higher-paid job categories.

This lack of motivation to undergo training means they are also increasingly under both real and perceived pressure from immigrant labour, who are willing and able to work for lower wages. There are currently about 3.6 million foreign workers in Malaysia, significantly more than in previous decades.

This skills conundrum is further complicated by a series of other deep-rooted problems.

Data from the government-owned TalentCorp agency, for example, indicates a persistent movement of skills away from Malaysia. Some 2% of tertiary-educated aged 25 and above are now living and working outside of the country, generally because of higher salaries and improved career prospects.

As the labour market is still in transition, it will also be a few more years before a big economic impact can take place.

But Riot’s new-found optimism stems from his faith in initiatives like the LMIDW project, which he believes holds the key to solving the country’s employment issues.

He said the data warehouse will be able to analyse the Malaysia’s labour market, and even track and store comprehensive data of the country’s workforce.

“This will be able to maintain or reduce the country’s unemployment rate at 3.5%,” he said.

“The data will also reduce dependency on foreign workforce and issues of job mismatch.”

Earlier this year, Riot attributed the progress to efforts and initiatives implemented by the Human Resource Development Fund. This includes the 1MalaysiaGRIP programme, which he says “has been successful” in encouraging Malaysian employees to take up new skills.

With 2020 less than three years away, the clock is ticking fast and Malaysia still has to pick up the pace if Riot’s words are to be realised.

Source: http://www.hrmasia.com
Author: Kelvin Ong – 20 Jul 2017

Comment: 35% skilled workers in the workforce by 2020, believe this includes those that obtain their Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM) via the Pengiktirafan Pencapaian Terdahulu (PPT) method. It’s great that those truly skilled & experienced personnels can obtain their SKM via PPT. Unfortunately, there are some bad apples in the industry where they ‘help, by charging exorbitant fees, even unqualified personnels to obtain the SKM‘.
You would have guess it right how these so called consultants & agents got it done 🙁

 

Concerns raised over racial polarisation at public vocational schools

Educationist says government should look into the extremely low non-Malay student enrolment at public vocational schools, noting that most non-Malays enrolled in private vocational institutions.

TVEt_traning_vocational-schools_600

KUALA LUMPUR: Public technical vocational education and training (TVET) institutes in Malaysia are dominated by Malay students, raising concerns among educationists of racial polarisation at such establishments.

Chang Yun Fah, who is a lecturer at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), claimed that over 90% of students enrolled at public TVET institutions were Malay.

“There appears to be a racial imbalance of ratio in the enrolment of students in public TVET institutes.

“A vast majority of these students belong to the Malay ethnic group. The cause of this must be ascertained and understood,” Chang said at a forum yesterday on issues concerning higher learning institutes.

Chang said in 2010, only 1.6% of about 60,590 students enrolled in public vocational and technical schools were non-Malay.

“While most Malays are in public TVET institutions, most non-Malays enrolled in private TVET institutions,” he added.

He said the government should address the issue and determine whether it is due to monocultural or monolingual environments.

“Academically weak non-Malay students who are not proficient in Bahasa Melayu must be given attention,” he said, adding that a multilingual approach in running TVET courses should be considered.

“Efforts in ensuring equal opportunities in TVET institutions should be included in the Malaysian Higher Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (HEB).”

To eliminate racial polarisation in TVET institutions, Chang said the education ministry should ensure in both policy and practice that all opportunities for education were open to all Malaysians, regardless of race or creed.

He was speaking at a forum after the launch of a book titled “Feedback and Recommendations on HEB 2015-2025”, a response by an education pressure group called the National Education Reform Initiative (NERI) to the education blueprint.

HEB was made public in April 2015.

NERI is a coalition of 17 non-governmental organisations created in 2014, comprising educationists, researchers and scholars.

Source: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

Comment: I personally view that one of the challenges is the delivery medium, where most if not all public TVET institutions teaches in the national language & the candidates are usually very weak in the language, hence they couldn’t cope or not interested with what’s being taught in their previous school prior to being a dropout or completed their studies with low academic results. 

Cambodia lifts 6-year ban on maids working in Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Cambodia has lifted its six-year ban on citizens going to Malaysia to work as maids, said Malaysia’s Human Resources Minister Richard Riot on Thursday (May 25).
The first batch of Cambodian domestic workers will arrive in the country after Hari Raya Aidilfitri, he added.Riot said the decision was reached ”on the spot” during his meeting with his Cambodian counterpart in Phnom Penh recently. 
“We reached an agreement in getting Cambodian domestic workers here as soon as possible,” he said at a press conference after launching the Guidelines and Tips for Employers of Foreign Domestic Helpers.

In 2011, the Cambodian government banned its citizens from working as domestic workers in Malaysia after incidents of beating of Cambodian maids by their Malaysian employers were reported.

Riot said a joint technical committee comprising senior officials from the Malaysian Human Resources Ministry and Cambodian Labour and Vocational Training Ministry was set up to finalise the terms and conditions in bringing in the Cambodian domestic workers.

“The number (of domestic workers coming to Malaysia) depends. The joint technical committee will sort it out,” he said.

Riot said the Cambodian domestic workers would undergo at least one month of training including learning Malaysian culture, and basic Bahasa Melayu and English before coming to Malaysia.

“I visited one of the centres in Cambodia. The centre will train them not only in daily household chores but also simple Bahasa Melayu and English, our culture, especially in the Muslim family. This is to avoid culture shock when they arrive,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Association of Employment Agencies (Pikap) president Raja Zulkepley Dahalan welcomed the decision reached by the Malaysian and Cambodian governments.

“I hope to see more foreign domestic workers coming to Malaysia with the lifting of the ban. We badly need them but we don’t have the supply as the salary here is low,” he said when met by reporters.

“It is not easy to get domestic workers from Cambodia to come here as they prefer to work in countries like Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore where the salaries offered are high, up to US$400 while in Malaysia, it is up to about US$230,” he added.

Source: Bernama/hs

 

 

Vocational grads are in demand

KUALA LUMPUR: The starting salary of vocational and technical graduates at between RM2,000 and RM5,000 a month is comparable to university graduates, said Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon.

“They are highly sought after by industries – 90% of the cohort in our TVET (technical and vocational education and training) who graduated last year are already employed,” said Chong to reporters after the opening of the third High Officials’ Meeting on South-East Asia TVET here yesterday.

He reiterated his call to parents, particularly from the Chinese community, to change the outdated view that university education was more prestigious, especially when university graduates were struggling to secure jobs.

“Vocational and technical graduates don’t just end up opening beauty salons or bakeries, many of them work for multinational companies like (aircraft manufacturer) Boeing, which has a service centre in Malaysia.

“If your children aren’t interested in academic studies, don’t force them. Let them choose their career paths according to their interests,” he said.

Chong said the country urgently needed vocational graduates to build a skilled workforce which was necessary to support industries in aviation, automobile, manufacturing and oil and gas.

“Only 8% of our secondary students are in TVET.

“This is low compared to advanced countries like Germany and Switzerland, where almost 60% of their students are in TVET,” Chong said, adding that the Government also aimed to increase the percentage to 20% by 2020.

In line with that, Chong said the Government had introduced the “Upper Secondary School Industry Apprenticeship” (Pima) at a national school this year, and planned to roll it out to other interested national schools.

Involving only Form Four and Five students, those who join Pima will spend 70% of their time in industrial training and 30% in academic studies.

At the end of the programme, the students will receive a certificate – Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia or Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia.

The Government is also converting unused teachers’ training institutes into polytechnics and vocational colleges.

The High Officials’ Meeting on South-East Asia TVET aims to create a network among leaders in the field and related development agencies in the region.

It also promotes exchange programmes among lecturers and students, joint research programmes and industrial linkages.

Chong said Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia were among the most active in the network.
Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/05/24/chong-vocational-grads-are-in-demand-tvet-students-are-highly-sought-after-by-industries-and-earn-go/#aMG8HIuZv9p5JeZK.99

AVOID BEING FOOLED BY COLLEGES IN MALAYSIA!

Well, this was shared by one of my friend in the IPTS.

“Don’t get fooled by fake promises and offers, especially 2016 SPM Leavers and their parents!.

Misleading information such as Bantuan Kementerian Sumber Manusia, Peluang Ke Pengajian Tinggi, Diploma Kerajaan are very viral since the release of SPM results yesterday.

Please verify with the relevant authorities or consultants before making any decision. What you should know before choosing a college? Check for this basic 5 points as listed below!

1. Check whether they are registered with Ministry of Higher Education! There are some irresponsible parties offering diplomas and skills certificate without the approval from MOHE or DSD. There are cases of non genuine courses offered to the public under the name of Professional Diploma and Executive Certificate. So please stay alert folks.

2. Minimum entry requirement for a diploma programme which is accredited by MQA differs depending on the field of the programme. Exp:- Any hospitality related courses requires the candidates to obtain a pass in their SPM with minimum 3 credits. Skills certificates such as SKM requires a minimum age of 16 to enroll. So when it said Diploma, check for this details. If it is stated that minimum age of 16 and 3M as the requirements, it is Skills Certificate programme under the Department of Skills Development.
For the listing of DSD (or JPK in BM) Accredited Training Providers & their programmes, kindly search here

3. Are the courses fully accredited or still under provisional accreditation? You can check this by simply looking at their course code. Full accreditation will have the alphabet beginning with A*** and Provisional Accreditation will reflect PA at the beginning of the code. What is the meaning? PA is given to any new course that is approved by MQA to be offered in the institution. The college or institution need to be accessed again after 2 years of provisional period by MQA. If MQA feels that the college has met the minimum requirements and programme standard, the college will be given Full Accreditation. It is something like from a ‘P’ to Full driving license process.

4. Know your sponsor or financial assistance providers:-
PTPTN – provide loan for IPTA & IPTS programmes
PTPK – provide loan for JPK programmes

5. Compare the course structure!
Please ensure that relevant subjects are offered in the programme. Evaluate whether the subjects offered are industry based or competent. It is good to have a balance study of 50% theory and 50% practical. Rather that choosing Diploma in Business Management, consider joining Diploma in Baking Science or Diploma in Culinary or Diploma in Entrepreneurship. For an example:-

Course offered at MIB College:

Diploma in Baking Science & Technology. Apart from baking and food related subjects, the students are required to take subjects like Economics, Accounting, Marketing, Human Resource Management, Operations Management, Financial Management, Cost Accounting, Business Maths and many more!

So try putting yourself in the employers shoes and ask yourself. Do you prefer baking graduate or business graduate? Do you prefer students with merely paper based qualification or equipped with some hands on practical skills?

Remember! One of the reason for unemployment is lack of industrial competency of the graduates.

College, industries sign MoU to promote technical education

Sahran (left) exchanges the MoU documents with a representative of 28 TVET-related industry players, witnessed by Fazzrudin (second left) and Zainuren. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: Kolej Vokasional Matang has reached another milestone with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at establishing partnership with 28 local industries and intensifying the development of highly-skilled students.

Education Ministry’s technical education and vocational training (school division) director Zainuren Mohd Nor said the MoU was vital as it encouraged the sharing of expertise and technology between industry players and the college, as well as to promote technical education.

According to him, the government realises the importance of technical and vocational education and training (TVET)-related skills in order to attain the ‘First World’ country status by 2020.

Statistics have shown a low turnout of students in the country pursuing technical education – constituting only seven per cent out of the total number of students.

However, society now realises the importance of TVET. It is estimated that 1.6 million jobs would be created across all economic corridors throughout the nation by 2020.

“Our country is still far behind in terms of technical education and vocational training compared with other developed countries. One of the factors is the lack of interest among students in technical courses.

“It is hoped that in years to come, more students would opt for technical education and vocational training in order to secure a better future with high salaries,” he said at the MoU signing ceremony between Kolej Vokasional Matang and the 28 TVET-related industries at Yayasan Sarawak auditorium here yesterday.

Moreover, Zainuren disclosed that under the Vocational Education Transformation Plan, the expectation for TVET students would be for 70 per cent of them to become skilled workers, 20 per cent to further their studies, and 10 per cent to become entrepreneurs.

Tupong assemblyman Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman and Kolej Vokasional Matang director Mohamad Sahran Amin were also present at the function.

Source: 

Kerajaan isytihar 2017 tahun TVET – Riot

RIOT: Kerajaan telah mengisytiharkan 2017 sebagai Tahun TVET dalam usaha mencapai status negara berpendapatan tinggi menjelang 2020.Kerajaan isytihar 2017 tahun TVET - Riot

SHAH ALAM: Kerajaan telah mengisytiharkan 2017 sebagai Tahun Pendidikan Teknikal dan Latihan Vokasional (TVET) dalam usaha mencapai status negara berpendapatan tinggi menjelang 2020, kata Menteri Sumber Manusia Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem.

Beliau berkata inisiatif itu juga seiring dengan ucapan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak semasa membentangkan Bajet 2017 bahawa keupayaan TVET akan dipertingkatkan di bawah bajet tersebut.

“Walaupun perkara ini tidak diumumkan secara rasmi sebelum ini, kalau kita nampak pada ucapan Najib dalam Bajet 2017 tempoh hari, perkataan TVET ditekankan.

“Ini bermakna, dengan penekanan ini, secara langsung dan tidak langsung, TVET menjadi permulaan kepada usaha kerajaan untuk lebih gigih dalam melahirkan ramai modal insan berkemahiran,” katanya pada sidang media selepas penyerahan akreditasi kepada Proton Holdings Berhad sebagai pusat sehenti untuk program Sistem Latihan Dual Nasional, di sini pada Khamis.

Riot berkata untuk mencapai status negara maju berpendapatan tinggi, tenaga kerja berkemahiran tinggi diperlukan dan setakat ini hanya 28 peratus modal insan Malaysia merupakan pekerja berkemahiran dan kerajaan menyasarkan untuk mencapai sekurang-kurangnya 35 peratus menjelang 2020.

Dalam perkembangan lain, beliau berkata Majlis Ekonomi Negara telah meluluskan cadangan Skim Insurans Pekerjaan (EIS) bagi membantu pekerja yang diberhentikan dan usul akan dibentang di Parlimen pada Januari 2018.

Sebelum ini, menteri itu dilapor berkata skim yang memperuntukkan sumbangan majikan dan pekerja itu amat penting untuk memastikan pekerja yang diberhentikan mampu menyara hidup sekurang-kurangnya selama empat bulan sebelum mendapat pekerjaan baharu.

Terdahulu, Riot menyampaikan Diploma Lanjutan Kemahiran Malaysia kepada 30 penerima selain menyaksikan pemeteraian memorandum persefahaman antara Proton dan Jabatan kemahiran Malaysia bagi program pembangunan jangka panjang pekerja berkemahiran.

Pada majlis itu, 27 individu menerima biasiswa Yayasan Proton untuk menyambung pendidikan peringkat Sijil Kemahiran malaysia.

– BERNAMA

Freeze hurting our agriculture – Labour shortage issues

Cause and effect: Prices of vegetables and poultry are expected to keep increasing due to manpower shortage at the farms.

PETALING JAYA: The freeze on foreign labour is hurting the local agriculture industry here with livestock farmers claiming that the industry will be crippled within a year if nothing is done.

Federation of Livestock Farmers’ Associations Malaysia president Datuk Jeffrey Ng said consumers would have to pay more for imported meat because local farms would be forced to close down due to the lack of workers.

“We do not want this to happen,” he said.

Stressing that many farms were struggling to keep up with production to meet market needs, Ng said he was not optimistic of the situation getting any better.

“I do not know how long we can sustain because the workers are leaving gradually after their contracts end,” he said.

Ng said claims that foreign workers contributed to social and security problems could not be applied to the livestock industry because the farms were mostly away from the cities.

“Our workers eat and stay at the farms.

“They do not get their weekly off days like others, so they can hardly leave their work place,” he said.

He pointed out that the industry was facing a shortage of at least 8,000 workers.

“We are not asking for more but to replace those whose contracts have expired,” he said.

In Johor Baru, the state’s Small and Medium Poultry Farmers Association president Lim Ka Cheng said farmers and businesses had voiced out their concerns over the shortage of foreign workers.

“Johor usually supplies some 10 million dressed chickens and eight million eggs each month but production has dropped by some 20% since early this year.

“We are the top producer of chickens and eggs in the country, contributing 30% of the overall supply while 10% of the production is exported to Singapore,” he said.

Lim said during the recent meeting with the Federation of Malaysian Vegetable Farmers Association, Malaysian Mushroom Research Association and Malaysian Fruit Farmers Association, it was highlighted that the shortage of workers was at a “very worrying stage”.

“The Government’s policy has posed a huge challenge for us as foreign workers cannot extend their contracts nor can business owners bring in more foreign labour to work at farms and sites,” he said when contacted.

He said the production sector would be affected if the problem was not resolved soon.

Lim said locals stayed away from such jobs and the association’s 300 chicken farmers needed foreign workers to maintain the hygiene of the farms and processing plants.

 Source: The Star Online

Comments: Should reconsider previous implementation of an induction course for the foreign workers to attend, learning about our culture, language & law. Perhaps that may lead to lower social & security problems. Or is that just an excuse by the government to make way for locals to be employed (but yet the low skill & low knowledge locals still avoid these jobs?)

Malaysia’s skilled labour shortage

More trained workers needed to attract new capital investments

THE Malaysian economy can sure use a boost to grow sustainably in the long term because the indicators for long-term growth do not look very good.

That boost should come from a focus on human capital. To put it simply, a better proportion of skilled workers is needed for the economy to move up the value chain and be globally competitive.

This year the economy is expected to grow just over 4% year-on-year, after growing 5% last year and 6% in 2014. The economy is expected to grow by 4% to 5% next year although the headwinds buffeting the Malaysian economy will make it challenging to hit the upper band of the target.

Moving up the chain will mean producing goods and services that have a higher value, meaning that productivity will rise. The rise in productivity will mean that workers will get better wages. This is the basic argument of policymakers when they speak of how human capital can help the economy.

However, the reality is different. According to data from the Malaysian Productivity Corp, the average annual labour productivity growth between 2011 and 2015 was 1.8% while the 11MP has a target of 3.7% annual growth. The doubling in labour productivity growth is needed to hit the high-income target of the New Economic Model.

Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan notes that the economy saw a labour productivity growth of 3.3% last year but believes that it will be challenging for labour productivity to grow in the years to come because of the lack of skilled workers.

Yap says manufacturers have to source for high-quality technology from places such as Europe and Taiwan to upgrade their production processes.

Yap says manufacturers have to source for high-quality technology from places such as Europe and Taiwan to upgrade their production processes.

The 11MP targets skilled workers, that is, those with diplomas and higher qualifications, to reach 35% or 5.35 million of total workforce by 2020. Currently 28% of the total workforce of 14.76 million are considered skilled workers.

Shamsuddin fears that without more skilled workers, the economy will find it more difficult to move up the value chain and will not be able to attract large capital investments.

He tells StarBizWeek that the 11MP target is well below the proportion for skilled workers compared to developed economies, where the proportion is at least half of the total workforce.

Shamsuddin says government plans to raise the skill levels of Malaysian workers have so far only shown mixed results, with a gap between the plans and the actual implementation.

Indeed, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, a grouping of rich economies, says in a 2013 report that the country needs to address long-standing economic weaknesses in the medium term in order to progress toward becoming an advanced economy within the next decade.

“Skill shortages and mismatches and the deficiencies in the education system that underlie them and the low participation of women in the workforce particularly need to be remedied,” it says.

It adds that the talent base of the workforce lags behind the standards of high-income nations. “The country suffers from a shortage of skilled workers, weak productivity growth stemming from a lack of creativity and innovation in the workforce, and an over-reliance on unskilled and low-wage migrant workers,” it adds.

Observers say cheap unskilled foreign labour is the bane of the Malaysian economy. According to the latest official estimates, there are 1.9 million documented foreign workers in the country with the Government having put a cap of the proportion of foreign workers to the total labour force at 15%.

Unofficial estimates of foreign workers, both legal and illegal, could be more than double that with the numbers having a negative effect on total wages.

Socio Economic Research Centre executive director Lee Heng Guie says in the long run, businesses will need to increase automation for the low-value processes in the manufacturing sector in order to reduce their reliance on foreign labour.

Shamsuddin: ‘I doubt very much whether our policy emphasising English will be successful, as statistics indicate that if we ask teachers themselves to take SPM English exam, possibly half of them will fail.’

Shamsuddin: ‘I doubt very much whether our policy emphasising English will be successful, as statistics indicate that if we ask teachers themselves to take SPM English exam, possibly half of them will fail.’

“We are not asking everything to be automated as some places you still need labour, but what you want is to gradually move up rather than continue to rely on cheap labour.

“It is not a solution for industries to compete,” he says. There is also a need to review policies in order to identify implementation flaws and weaknesses.

But the work cannot be all one-way. Lee points out that the private sector must come forward to work with the Government to create a sustainable ecosystem for innovation.

While businesses acknowledge the urgency of working efficiently and relying less on foreign workers, they point out that the supporting technology including for automation cannot be found in the country and must be sourced from abroad.

Asia Poly Industrial Sdn Bhd executive director Michael Yap says manufacturers have to source for high-quality technology from places such as Europe and Taiwan to upgrade their production processes. The company, a subsidiary of Bursa-listed Asia Poly Holdings Bhd, is a maker of cast acrylic sheets used to make corporate signages, lighting displays and sanitary ware, has a high proportion of foreign workers in its workforce.

Yap also finds it difficult to get skilled workers or even motivated ones compared to the 1980s and 1990s. He says engineers today are not willing to take up challenges and many graduates cannot solve problems.

His colleagues observe that Malaysians also do not want to work in the manufacturing sector, even if the workplace environment is conducive and they are given opportunities to give their inputs.

Given the increasing importance of the services sector to the economy, English-language skills are important but again, there is a gap between the plan and the implementation.

The Services Sector Blueprint launched last year targets the sector to make up 56.5% of gross domestic product by 2020.

Shamsuddin says it is critical for the education system to plan for the future requirements of the economy and the command of English is very important to the services sector.

“I doubt very much whether our policy emphasising English will be successful, as statistics indicate that if we ask teachers themselves to take SPM English exam, possibly half of them will fail,” he adds.

Lee feels that a more consistent policy towards English is important, referring to the abrupt change in the teaching of mathematics and science to Bahasa Malaysia after it was taught in English from 1996 to 2012, as a change that has failed Malaysian children.

 

Sorce: The Star.com.my