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In an expansion of Malaysia’s PSMB Act 2001 (Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad), the nation’s leading manpower development agency, HRDF has inked MoUs with six employer associations (EAs) in a bid to boost the skilled workforce.
The partnership is expected to encourage more employers to register with the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) to up-skill and re-skill their employees, making 2.8 million Malaysians eligible for training under the HRDF by the year 2020.
Currently, over 82% (or 15,725) of the 19,122 companies registered with HRDF are SMES, representing a small fraction of over 400,000 SMEs in Malaysia.
The ceremony was held on 11 July at Hilton Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, in the presence of the Minister of Human Resources, Dato’ Sri Richard Riot Anak Jaem. The MoU was signed with the following employer associations:
- Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCCIM)
- Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (MCCM)
- SME Association of Malaysia (SMEA)
- Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FFM)
- Malaysian Associated Indian Chamber of Commerce (MAICCI)
- Malaysian Employers Association (MEF)
Apart from bringing more employers under HRDF’s purview, the expansion of the PSMB Act 2001, effective 1 April this year, is expected to streamline the eligibility criteria for Malaysian employers across all sub-sectors within the manufacturing, service, and mining and quarrying sectors with a minimum of 10 local employees.
The Minister affirmed: “This amendment underlines the importance of the Act as an enabler for more SMEs to become HRDF-registered employers, which would bolster their efforts to upgrade their staff to remain competitive in the current and future work environment.”
He added that newly liable companies should register themselves within the six-month grace period (from 1 April to 30 September), so as to benefit from not having to pay any arrears in levy.
HRDF chief executive Dato’ CM Vignaesvaran Jeyandran, noted: “One of the major objectives for the signing the MoU is to promote and encourage liable employers under these associations to get themselves registered, as well as to foster good working relationships with parties across the board.”
He added that at present 65% of Malaysians do not have access to a structured training budget, but with the expansion, HRDF can help SMEs with their training needs by reducing their financial constraints. The HRDF Strategic Initiatives’ Pool Fund, established last year, assists SME employers who have insufficient levy payment balance to continuously train and upgrade the skills of their employees.
To achieve the objectives laid out in the MoU, HRDF is offering a registration incentive to newly registered employers (that are members of participating EAs) in addition to one free seat of HRDF Workshop.
In return, participating EAs shall disseminate information to their members on the Expansion of the PSMB Act 2001, and on activities, schemes and programmes offered by HRDF. They will also offer HRDF a briefing slot for events they organise.
Photo / Provided