PUTRAJAYA, May 27 — Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran today urged workers to take up technical and vocational training so they can push for higher salaries.
He said this was why the ministry proposed that technical vocational education and training (TVET) centres be opened from 5.30pm to 11pm, so that employees who are working full-time can attend the training after office hours.
“So if every worker in the country is skilled, even the janitors, those who are working (as cleaners) in the toilets, if they are properly skilled, you can command a good income,” Kulasegaran told reporters after the National Labour Advisory Council meeting here.
He cited Singapore as an example where he claimed that various personnel there have earned certifications and can be highly trained.
“If Singapore can do it, there’s no reason why we cannot do it,” the minister asserted.
When asked if Pakatan Harapan could achieve its 2018 election promise of raising the minimum wage to RM1,500 monthly within its first term of office, Kulasegaran simply restated the coalition’s manifesto pledge of doing so “within this period”.
He also indicated that with increased skills, an employee’s income can rise from the minimum wage of RM1,100, for instance, to a higher pay.
Kulasegaran said that he has presented these initiatives to the government.
TVET Malaysia was launched by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in September 2017 after a rebranding process. It provides a variety of vocational courses.
SHAH ALAM: The Manpower Department aims to produce more skilled workers than its present 28%.
“We need to reach the target of 35% by 2020,“ said its director-general, Datuk Muhd Khair Razman Mohamed Annuar.
He believes they will be able to meet the target through their Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes.
Muhd Khair said, currently they were in smart partnerships with private entities which conducts TVET programmes.
“Presently, there are 565 TVET public institutions under six ministries, while the private entities have over 600 institutions,“ he told theSun today after attending the Monfort Boys Town’s graduation ceremony.
“This is why the partnership with private TVET institutions is important. In order to produce a bigger percentage of skilled workers, it is vital for both private and public TVET institutions to work closely with us.
“In the long term, we want graduates to become entrepreneurs, where they can apply for funding from the skilled development corporate fund when they have undergone the programmes and obtained a certificate,“ he said.
He added that even after the graduates are working, they can upgrade their skills through the institutions recognised by the department.
“We have 32 institutions under the Manpower Department – the industrial training institutes, the Japan Technical Institute in Penang, and advanced technologies centres, which besides running full-time courses, also organise short courses to cater for working adults. Our institutions are open to 11pm.”
Muhd Khair said TVET graduates are equally competent as compared with other graduates from various colleges and universities.
Both countries are aiming to strike a deal this July, when Malaysia’s human resources minister M. Kulasegaran visits Tokyo for the signing of a memorandum of cooperation (MOC), Kyodo News reported.
A Malaysia government official familiar with the negotiations was quoted by Kyodo News as saying: “We are working with the Japanese government to formulate an MOC on sending workers to Japan as they have opened up 14 sectors to foreigners.”
The official added that the scheme could open up 50,000 jobs in Japan for Malaysians, but it has not yet been decided which sectors will be open to Malaysian workers, Kyodo News said.
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will also be making a visit to Japan later this month to discuss the details of the MOC.
The official also told Kyodo news that Malaysia was interested in the scheme as its government believes the country should support those willing to go abroad to earn a better salary temporarily.
Citing a small study that was conducted, the official said that the findings showed that Malaysians were willing to upgrade their skills to join any sector open to them in the visa system.
“They are excited as the higher starting salary is a major draw,” the official was quoted by Kyodo News as saying.
Under the new visa system, foreign nationals with certain Japanese language and job skills will be able to apply for a resident status called Specified Skilled Worker No. 1, AP News reported.
The resident status grants foreigners working rights in 14 sectors, such as construction, farming and nursing care for up to five years.
Proficient labourers working in the construction and shipbuilding sectors can extend their stay in Japan by earning the Specified Skilled Worker No. 2 status, which will allow holders to bring in family members and renew their visa as many times as they want to.
In order to curb fears of work exploitation, the Japanese government has set up laws requiring employers to pay wages equivalent to or higher than those of Japanese nationals, and the payment should be made directly to workers’ bank accounts, AP News said.
Comment: While awaiting full details on which sector that’s included in this new visa programme, perhaps it’s time to learn some basic Japanese language NOW or even pick-up some new technical skills on part time basis!
OR you prefer to take the easy way out? To work in Singapore where food, culture & language is not too alien to you?
KAJANG: Secondary school students in selected institutions can sign up for the National Dual Training System (SLDN) after their Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR).“The enrolment of students in the programme is expected to reach 15,000 by next year,” said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassinat SM Vokasional Kajang yesterday.Previously, secondary school students who were interested in vocational training would have to wait until after their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).Muhyiddin added that the programme comprised a 70% practical component with host companies and 30% training at the educational institutions.
Currently, it is only available at three vocational institutions located here, in Sungai Buloh and Batu Pahat.
The programme will be extended to all 79 vocational colleges in stages by next year.
The SLDN, which is a collaborative programme with the Human Resources Ministry, will see courses offered in up to 53 fields.
“I believe SLDN will become a preferred choice in the future, with more multinational companies and industries taking part,” said Muhyiddin after the launch of the programme and the signing of a cooperation agreement with the Human Resources Ministry.
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said the initiative was in line with the 10th Malaysia Plan and was crucial if the country were to produce highly-skilled workers.