More childcare centres to be set up with state funds

Yeoh: State government acted fast to restart flights to major cities after international borders opened.

Penang government has allocated RM300,000 for the establishment of new childcare centres (taska) in the state.

Penang social development and non-Islamic religious affairs committee chairman Chong Eng said another RM300,000 would be allocated to upgrade the grants of existing taska that charged a fee of less than RM500.

The effort, she said, was a commitment of the state government in providing better and safer services for children in Penang, including the marginalised groups.

“We always support the initiative of establishing taska and kindergartens (tadika).

“D’ Komtar taska and Whytehouse tadika at Techdome were established to make it easier for parents who work at Komtar to drop off their children before going to work.

“I hope this model will be emulated by other companies as a strategy to retain local talent and even raise the company’s brand as one that cares about employees,” she said in her winding up speech at the state assembly.

Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy said the state government had taken proactive steps in creating an ecosystem for human capital development, which was the Penang science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) ecosystem.

Ramasamy: Ecosystem for human capital development is to create quality workforce.Ramasamy: Ecosystem for human capital development is to create quality workforce.

“This ecosystem with its mission of ‘Creating Future Talent Today’ aims to hone talent and produce quality workforce in the field of STEM to meet the needs of the industry, especially in Penang.

“The ecosystem consists of STEM centres such as Penang Science Cluster, Tech Dome Penang, Penang STEM, Penang Math Platform and Penang Skills Development Centre,” he added.

Ramasamy said Penang was an industry-based state, so most of the job opportunities offered were STEM-related and were in line with the needs of the industry.

“We are currently facing a shortage of manpower to accommodate the increasing demands of the industry and have taken measures such as the Penang Internship Subsidy Programme (PISP) for local companies to open up industrial training opportunities and subsequently attract talents from all over the country to get work experience on the spot.

“However, this does not mean that job opportunities in other fields are not focused on.

“The state government, through the Penang Career Assistance and Talent (CAT) Centre, implements job matching to help job seekers and employers or companies in Penang,” he said.

On the tourism sector, Penang tourism committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said the state government acted quickly in efforts to bring back international flights as well as add direct international flight routes in a short period after the reopening of international borders on April 1.

He said the international flights operating currently included Banda Aceh and Denpasar in Indonesia, which were new direct flights.

Other routes such as Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya (all in Indonesia), Singapore, Taipei (Taiwan), Bangkok (Thailand), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) and Hong Kong will begin operating from December.

“The state government is exploring the European, the United States, India and Middle East markets, among others, as it is keen on attracting tourists from those target markets to Penang.

“Recently, tourism operators from Iran visited and conducted market research in Penang.

“This is because the state government has been making an effort to explore new markets,” he said in his winding up speech.

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Penang state assembly


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