Tag Archives: Recognition Prior Learning

‘TVET worker certification will boost salaries’

Technical and vocational education and training institutions need to upgrade their equipment and teaching methods by working with the private sector.

Helping skilled workers secure certification will boost their chances of getting a better salary throughout their career.

Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said youths working in the technical and vocational field should not worry about their starting pay as it would be reviewed over time and upon the confirmation of their job.

“The rate of review can be between RM100 and RM500, usually after six months.”

“Malaysia practises a seniority-based wage system with yearly increment. Some developed countries adopted a rate for job payscale. They are paid based on their skills, regardless of seniority,” Shamsuddin said.

He said in Malaysia, employees had honed their skills through work exposure and experience, but even after 15 to 20 years of service, they did not get themselves certified, hence their stagnant wages.

He said this would open workers to exploitation by companies.

“Getting certification would be beneficial for them if they want to quit their job and work at another company.”

“We have the Recognition of Prior Learning. If we get employees certified, we can link these certified skills to wages.”

He said although there was a guideline by the Human Resources Ministry on the starting pay for 160-skills-based job released in 2016, many employers had been paying their workers based on the market rate.

Shamsuddin also said the industry faced issues on skills mismatch and the need to re-skill and up-skill employees.

“This is why companies were not prepared to follow the ministry’s guidelines. Furthermore, it is not compulsory for them to do so,” he said.

“Take, for example, the automotive repair industry. Some technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions use carburetors to teach their students.

“However, there are now electronic fuel injection engines, hybrid cars and electric cars in the market.”

Because of this, he said, institutions needed to upgrade their equipment and teaching methods by working with the private sector.

He added that in the long run, there was a need to look at the whole situation and advocate a skills-based service system, where the skills that employees had would be evaluated by encouraging them to get a certification.

“Their employees’ pay should be based on their skill-level on top of observing the minimum wage,” he said.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers chief executive officer Dr Yeoh Oon Tean said it was important that TVET students enrolled for courses that led to a recognised certification of their skills and offered them a pathway to upgrade themselves in terms of wages and standard of living.

He said the issue faced by employers was a lack of coordination between TVET institutions and industry on industrial needs.

“A wide variation in (education) standards may lead to the continuity of poor public perception of TVET education.

There is a need for a streamlined qualification system that ensures a minimum standard is met and strengthens the confidence of employers and TVET students.”

He said initiatives taken by the TVET Empowerment Cabinet Committee were a positive way to address issues.

Among the initiatives include the establishment of a coordinating and enforcement agency to address the issue of fragmentation of TVET implementation, which cuts across ministries.

“The agency would ensure standardisation of training and qualifications, quality assurance, qualification portability, recognition of prior learning and greater cost effectiveness in the use of resources. It should uplift the status of TVET graduates as skilled craftsman to promote it.”

He said other initiatives could ensure greater industry collaborations in TVET by strengthening public-private partnerships to improve employability and produce industry-ready graduates.

“Industries need to engage in more apprenticeship, internship and work-based learning programmes to prepare students for the working environment. It needs to start early to prevent skills mismatch.”

Yeoh said as long as there was no uniformity in standards and quality, the industry could not be forced to follow a wage guide, which would be determined by the highest level of standards and quality of a qualification.

He said there was a need to address the public’s opinion of the TVET field being less prestigious than a professional qualification.

“It will give workers more opportunity to earn better wages, which uplifts the Bottom 40 income group by 2030 as envisioned in the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030.”

The ways to do this, Yeoh said, included introducing TVET into the school curriculum as early as primary level; promoting it as a mainstream education rather than for less academically-inclined students, and having trainers with industrial and operational experience.

Source: www.nst.com.my

PSMB CEO removed for speaking out against contract scandal

KUALA LUMPUR: The multi-million ringgit skills certification scandal at the Human Resources Development Corporation (PSMB) was marked by an intriguing power play that led to the removal of its chief executive officer.

Ali Badaruddin Abdul Kadir lost his job as the CEO early last month because he disagreed with the award of a lucrative contract to Bena College, which has no track record in running the “Recognition of Prior Learning” (RPL) programme. He was appointed as CEO in August 2013 on a two-year contract.

Sources said the scandal involved a high-level personnel shake-up with trails leading to the office of Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem.

Before he left, Ali Badaruddin held a meeting with his staff, running down PSMB’s decision to award the contract to Bena.

Ali Badaruddin’s removal upset some staff who then tipped off the media about the wrongdoings.

The CEO’s removal came on the heels of secretary-general Datuk Seri Zainal Rahim Seman’s swift transfer out of the ministry early this year, together with a number of other high-ranking officers.

They are said to be “non-compliant” with directives from “certain powerful people” in the ministry.

To complicate matters, a new CEO, said to be nominated by the minister’s office, had been prevented from taking office as his appointment did not adhere to bureaucratic procedures.

PSMB, an agency under the Human Resources Ministry, administers the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), which manages about RM1 billion in mandatory employer contributions for human capital development.

Recently, the government announced a RM400 million allocation for upskilling and reskilling programmes which cover the RPL and Malaysian Skills Certificate (MSC) programmes, among others.

Many workers in Malaysia acquired work skills on the job or through apprenticeships but have no documents to back them up. In fact, one of the ministry’s key performance indicators (KPI) is to get 700,000 unskilled workers “certified” by 2015.

It was claimed that the ministry had approved accreditation based on a separate module from the one traditionally recognised by the Department of Skills Development (DSD).

A major bone of contention was that Bena had been awarded the contract to assess so-called “skilled” workers based on standards that were much lower than DSD’s.

A 45-page report detailing the alleged wrongdoings had been sent to the higher-ups, including the Prime Minister’s Office, the sources said.

Among other things, the report questioned why no tender was called for the project despite the huge amount involved.

Potentially, there’s a lot of money to be made from training assessors capable of assessing employees. This is why Bena wanted to be part of the RPL scheme.

Formerly known as Bantin College, Bena is founded by Thomas Leong, who runs the Bengkel Niaga Ala Cina, an entrepreneur-training outfit which teaches Malay students how to “do business like the Chinese masters”.

Bena had recently advertised in a leading newspaper that it was recruiting assessors who had to pay RM400 to attend a one-day workshop on how to do RPL assessment.

The Heat reported that a training company representative who attended the workshop said it only lasted a couple of hours, and the assessment was too simplistic.

Bena had apparently impressed the ministry with its collaboration with a body called the Great Britain Consortium of Colleges (GBCC), which comprises four UK government colleges. GBCC would issue certificates for those assessed as “skilled” in their field.

Under the RPL by Bena, PSMB pays the assessor RM300 for each person who has been certified as “skilled” and an undisclosed amount to GBCC for issuing the certification, the sources said.

“If an assessor can find 100 people to be certified each month, he would make RM30,000 every month. In a year, that’s RM360,000. If you have 100 assessors, PSMB would need to fork out RM360 million a year. On top of that, HRDF still needs to pay GBCC for each certified worker,” a source said.

It is understood an undisclosed sum would also be paid to Bena, although it is unclear whether from PSMB or from GBCC.

– See more at: http://theantdaily.com/Main/PSMB%20CEO%20removed%20for%20speaking%20out%20against%20contract%20scandal#sthash.bUOgBKpf.MSLXZSSF.dpuf

Comment: I was one of those who attended the seminar for Assessor (last day), which was advertised as one whole day but ended quite early. Was very suspicious & reluctant (to attend) initially but was told by my friend who went on the 1st day where he says that the HR Minister came to officiate it & the DG of Department of Skill Development (DSD) was there too (probably due to a directive by the Minister)!  

It sounded fishy from the start, with a project of such huge magnitude being awarded to a company where it’s bank account name is called Bengkel Niaga Ala Cina. When I emailed to submit my resume for their so called assessment (by British counterpart) before approval to attend the Assessor seminar, I got a shocked that they replied YES to me in less than 10 minutes. Was thinking, did they really went through my profile or just accepted anyone who applied (because they would be getting RM400 per applicant/attendee for a day’s seminar – hey, they’re making much better $$ compared to my 2 days organising of induction course with the DSD – only can charge RM350/pax for 2 days of hardwork & limited to 60 vs their capacity of few hundreds per session!) So they claimed to have close to 1,000 participants over the week (5 days). Ahem, that’s a collection of about RM400,000 (perhaps after deducting operational cost, including so many Gwei Lo’s flight & accomodation at Hilton Hotel), think the organiser still made at least over hundred thousands (not sure who else he needs to pay…)
Conclusion: The concept looks great but the way it’s being planned to be implemented, it just doesn’t look professional and to be more crude, it looks more like a scam job!