Private skills training institutes request RM3bil interest-free loans from govt

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 07 Apr 2020

PETALING JAYA: Private skills-training institutions are urging the government to allocate interest-free loans amounting to RM3bil to assist those that are badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

An action committee representing these institutions has submitted its proposal to Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, said its president Nordin Abdul Malek.

The revolving fund, he said, should be managed by the Human Resources Ministry’s Skills Development Fund Corporation (PTPK), and each private skills training institution or ILKS could then apply based on set criteria.

There are 674 registered ILKS in the country.

“Our proposal consists of 10 suggestions to the government.

“We have requested for assistance because the pandemic and the movement control order (MCO) will affect at least 30,000 private trainees, and about 10,000 to 15,000 people are at risk of losing their jobs," he said in a statement.

“What makes the situation worse is that we don’t have e-learning systems in place for skills education, ” he added.

Skills institutions would not be able to merely upload their lessons online, unlike academic institutions, as there were evaluation processes that must be complied with under the Human Resources Ministry’s Department of Skills Development, he added.

The special stimulus package worth RM10bil to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, would come in handy for some ILKS in paying their staff, Nordin said.

“However, it isn’t sufficient for us to continue our operations and skills training for our students.

“The special fund will ensure there is cash flow for private training providers, ” he said.

One of the committee members representing the Federation of JPK Accredited Centres (FeMac) also submitted a memorandum to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

FeMAC is an association comprising members who are accredited technical and vocational education and training (TVET) providers.

Currently, there are 350 accredited centres in the country registered with it as members.

Its president P. Sailanathan outlined the issues and proposals in the memorandum.

“Over the years, with the issues this sector faces, many ILKS have downsized their workforce but this pandemic has made the situation worse.

“My members are struggling, so it was important for me to voice their concerns, ” he said.

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