Malaysia allocates RM30m for employees in SMEs to upskill

The grant aims to enhance younger employees in terms of job preparedness and welfare, and to encourage more employers to invest in employees.
By: | March 21, 2024

Talent Corporation Malaysia (TalentCorp) has set aside RM30 million (US$6.33 million) for the Industry Training Matching Grant Initiative for Small and Medium Enterprises (LiKES), which aims to facilitate organised and long-lasting industrial training placements within small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and recently founded Malaysian firms. 

This is the commitment that the Malaysian government plans to carry out, helping startups and SMEs provide matching subsidies for industrial training, said Steven Sim, Malaysia’s Minister of Human Resources. It seeks to increase employer involvement in developing the country’s youthful talent pool.

By offering allowances during the training term, LiKES, along with current TalentCorp programmes like the National Structured Industry Training Programme (MySIP), will enhance job preparedness and welfare, Sim emphasised. It will also enhance industrial training for SMEs, which make up 97% of businesses in Malaysia, and contribute 48.2% to the country’s employment in 2022.

Improvements to the Industrial Training Scheme (ITS) administered by the Human Resources Development Corporation (HRD Corp) will also be a component of the comprehensive Ministry of Human Resources (KESUMA) industrial training programme tailored for employers, shared Sim.

“Effective immediately, employers can use up to 50% of their levy balance from January 2024 for the interpretation year of the ITS. The monthly training allowance ceiling that can be claimed for each trainee under the ITS scheme has been removed,” he said.

READ MORE: Malaysia considers cost pressures in minimum wage review

Discussions with stakeholders are ongoing to formulate the National Industrial Training Policy, which will serve as a framework for employers hiring trainees, reported the New Straits Times.

The policy is anticipated to be unveiled in May 2024.

The LiKES grant supports training lasting up to six months and is available to SMEs and startups registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).