Addressing the talent gap
"On the issue of knowledgeable, creative and innovative human capital, training programmes will be developed to hone new skills in line with future needs of industry in a high-income and developed economy. For this purpose, RM3.7 billion [US$1.21 billion] will be allocated in 2013 to train students in technical and vocational fields," said Najib.
He said the government would establish the Graduate Employability Taskforce with an allocation of RM200 million [US$65.38 million] to strengthen employability of unemployed graduates under Graduate Employability Blueprint by end-2012.
"The government will allocate RM440 million [US$143.84 million] to the Skills Development Fund Corporation (PTPK), to provide loans for trainees to undergo skills training," he said.
HP Enterprise Group, South East Asia (SEA) vice president and acting general manager & HP Malaysia managing director Narinder Kapoor noted the Government's continued and expanded focus on talent and human capital development. "Incentives provided under Budget 2013, such as reducing the cost of learning, enhancing teaching skills in core subjects through the Higher Order Thinking Skills approach, the New Entrepreneur Foundation and the Graduate Employability Blueprint will not only help develop an entrepreneurial spirit, but also set the foundation and churn out more knowledge-based workers."
"Developing a bigger pool of local ICT talent with the right set of hard and soft skills that meet industry expectations will certainly help enhance Malaysia's global competitiveness," said Kapoor. "While the education sector focuses on improving proficiency in core subjects, more concerted efforts are needed at higher learning institutes to include course that focus on sub-specialisation within the ICT industry. Developing the right talent and human capital in ICT becomes even more important now as Digital Malaysia initiative targets to create more than 160,000 high-value jobs by the year 2020."
Microsoft Malaysia's managing director Ananth Lazarus commended the Malaysian government's financial prudence while remaining focused on the importance of transforming education and improving the quality of daily life.
"However, Microsoft Malaysia believes that more could be done to leverage ICT to achieve these goals and commits itself towards transforming Malaysia together into a high-income and developed nation," said Lazarus. "It is clear that the government places a premium priority on securing the future success of the nation with more than RM41 billion [US$13.40 billion] along with various tax incentives and other allocations committed to improving the quality of education in the country. We certainly laud the government's commitment to transforming education by lending the necessary budgetary commitment to meet the aspirations outlined in the recently announced National Education Blueprint."
At the same time, the government's incentives towards leveraging intellectual property appear to signal the country's recognition that it needs to move up the value chain, he said. "This is certainly a step in the right direction in achieving the country's aspiration to become a high-income nation," said Lazarus.
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