KUALA LUMPUR: The proposal to make it compulsory to pay allowances to students who undergo industrial training in the private sector will discourage employers from offering places for internship, said the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).
MEF president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman (pic) said instead of compelling employers to pay internship allowance, the government should consider giving more incentives to the employers to take in more interns and make it mandatory for all undergraduates to undergo internship.
He said an internship is a chance for students or fresh graduates to gain valuable industry experience that will assist them to be more employable.
"MEF is of the view that employers should pay internship allowance at their discretion. It is advisable for employers that take interns to pay some allowance to the interns, and employers taking in interns need to take into consideration rising costs of living faced by the interns.
"Generalised statements that the industries do not give allowance to interns is not fair to employers,” he said in a statement on Friday (Feb 17).
Currently, private companies that take in interns to undergo industrial training pay allowances at their discretion, with the average allowance in bigger cities for an intern being about RM1,200, but some are paid less than RM1,000 per month.
Some of the bigger companies are paying more than RM1,200 per month.
Syed Hussain said in fact, employers have to carry out a lot of planning to ensure knowledge and skills are transferred to interns.
He said stakeholders should thank industries for helping to train interns.
Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh had said the proposal to make it compulsory to pay allowances to students who undergo industrial training in the private sector, as is done in the public sector, would be brought to the Cabinet for deliberation.
She said the Higher Education Ministry and Human Resources Ministry needed to discuss the pros and cons of implementing this in the private sector. - Bernama