Acquiring skills training for free

Active participation: School counsellors joining in a role-play session during the Psychological First Aid course under NTW 2023 in Kedah. — Photo courtesy of Dr Muhamad Fadhil

PETALING JAYA: After the Covid-19 pandemic first struck, entrepreneur Tim Low felt lost having to close down part of his business. At 50, he was compelled to start afresh but had no idea where to begin.

“I run a massage academy but often, I felt overwhelmed as many things have changed and I have to play catch up,” he said in an interview.

That was when he came to know about the free training courses offered by the government in conjunction with the National Training Week (NTW).

Low signed up for a total of six courses, which he described as “enlightening, mind-opening and useful”.

Satisfied bunch: Low (third from left) with  trainers and  participants of the  NTW 2023 in Kuala Lumpur.  — Photo courtesy  of LowSatisfied bunch: Low (third from left) with trainers and participants of the NTW 2023 in Kuala Lumpur. — Photo courtesy of Low

In the Course Outline training, Low said he learned to perfect the descriptions for his academy, allowing him to provide better understanding to all his prospects.

“The course outline and approach was unique, the trainer also taught us how to use artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT.

“This made me feel the course was up to date,” he added.

Low also took up Goal Setting, Vision Board, Entrepreneur Tea Talk, Facebook Strategy and Search Engine Optimisation courses.

“As I also run a charity movement called LEV8 that acts as a resource hub and support system pertaining to HIV, men’s sexual health, chemsex addiction and youth sexual protection-related issues, I now know how to pitch my ideas better.

“I completed all the courses and it felt good. The trainers are experienced in their fields and are inspiring,” he added.

Low hoped that the NTW would be made an annual programme.

“Malaysians must take care of themselves in skills development.

“We must be courageous to learn new knowledge too. It is sad to see some people had resisted in accepting new things because they were ‘too old’.

“If we stop learning, we end up having no productivity and remain a low-skilled nation,” he said.

Public health medicine specialist Dr Muhamad Fadhil Mohamad Marzuki said the Psychological First Aid course he attended with some 80 other school counsellors was extremely beneficial.

“We learned how to assist students through a healthy recovery process following a traumatic event, natural disaster, public health emergency or even personal crisis,” he said.

Dr Muhamad Fadhil, who is from Kedah, said the course was timely, as students faced increasingly challenging life experiences that sometimes left them traumatised.

“Many school counsellors had little exposure on how to help students, but now we know what to do,” he said.

NTW 2023, a learning and development programme conducted from May 22 – 28, provided more than 3,100 courses, covering a wide range of topics and skills for all age groups.

The free courses were based on Technical and Vocational Education and Training and were implemented intensively and career-focused.

Datuk Shahul Dawood, the chief executive of Human Resource Development Corporation which organised the programme, said positive feedback from the participants had motivated them to do it better and bigger in the future.

“Many of the participants told us that they have never attended any training and with the NTW, they were able to acquire the knowledge and skills.

“We are happy that people are coming into this, nobody should be deprived of knowledge and education,” he said.

Following the overwhelming results of the NTW, Shahul said Malaysians should make learning and development a culture.

“Everyone should take learning and development as part of their life,” he added.

He also called on employers to send their staff for training, adding that it was the employers’ responsibility to train their workers as this could improve workforce quality and productivity.

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