National Service to teach technical and vocational skills

New-look for National Service programme from 2016 onwards to include private sector involvement.

Hishammuddin_khidmat-negara_600PUTRAJAYA: Technical and vocational skills are to be taught to trainees in the National Service programme to prepare them for the job market, says defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

The new skills will add value to current modules on patriotism and unity and involve the private sector, he said.

Cabinet approval was sought last week, he said, for the new programme to be included in the 11th Malaysia Plan.

Hishammuddin said the involvement of the private sector would mean that the certificates given out would have more value, and the private sector would not simply reject job applications from former National Service trainees.

He expressed confidence that the new National Service session could begin early next year, after feedback on the new plans had been obtained from all concerned parties next week.

The prime minister, Najib Razak, had announced in his Budget speech in October that the National Service programme would be reviewed and new skills introduced. In January he also announced that this year’s programme would be postponed, to save RM400 million in costs, and allow a review.

More than 800,000 youths have undergone National Service training since it was introduced in 2004.

– BERNAMA