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Education, skill development crucial to empower future workforce

23rd March, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: Lifelong learning, upskilling and continuous professional development are becoming crucial to ensure local talents maintain a competitive edge and keep pace with the ever-changing demands of the business world. “I cannot stress enough how important it is to invest in both education and the re-skilling, upskilling and multi skilling of local talent, which are all factors imperative for improving social mobility and enhancing the well-being of the rakyat as a whole,” said Human Resources Minister Dato Sri (Dr) Richard Riot Anak Jaem whose speech was delivered by Secretary-General Dato’ Dr Mohd Ghazali Abas.

Speaking during his officiating speech at the Convocation of the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) recently, Dr Mohd Ghazali underlined the need to empower the workforce to fill jobs of an estimated 1.5 million job opportunities expected to be available in the year 2020.

He said this can be achieved by reducing dependency on low skilled foreign labour as a result of continuous economic development in the country, to one based on innovation and knowledge. “Although our efforts have shown results, more can be done to increase the quality of life of the local workforce, and by upskilling, they can improve their marketability and at the same time reduce their financial burden,” he added.

During the ceremony, over 300 local graduates under the RPEL scheme received their diplomas at the convocation held at Hilton Hotel. There were a total of 849 trainees from Sabah under the RPEL from a total of 7,328 trainees nationwide, which consist of participants from the federation of JPK Accredited Centres Malaysia (FeMAC) and the Armed Forces Ex-Servicemen Affairs Corporation (Perhebat).

Witnessing the occasion include HRDF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Datuk CM Vignaesvaran

“Schemes like the RPEL, promote lifelong learning and are instrumental in achieving the aspiration of reaching a 35 per cent skilled workforce, this initiative recognises the experience and skills of workers who have no paper qualifications, reduces their financial burden by improving employability, contributes to a better opportunity for high income and increases the percentage of a high skilled workforce,” said CM Vignaesvaran.

As such, the programme will help increase the number of skilled workers from the Bottom 40 per cent (B40) income group and improve the health of the economy by reducing the unemployment rate of the country which currently stands at 3.3 per cent.

Providing recipients with a diploma under the Malaysia Skills Certification would open doors to opportunities that may not have been available previously including the option to pursue further studies and better job prospects and higher salaries.

He noted the HRDF will continue to collaborate with industry players to implement more programmes, with the aim of inspiring more skilled local workers from the B40 group to continuously strive to improve their living standards, wellbeing and quality of life, as well as to stimulate the country’s economy

The RPEL initiative – which gives formal recognition and certification of technical and management skills, knowledge and experience gained from work, life or previous study paves the way forward to better mobility and job marketability among local workers.

With the aid of government funding, 7,328 participants nationwide were up-skilled this year through HRDF’s collaboration with the Federation of JPK Accredited Centre Malaysia (FeMAC) and Perbadanan Hal Ehwal Bekas Angkatan Tentera (Perhebat).

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