Human Resources Minister Datuk Sri (Dr) Richard Riot Anak Jaem (right) at the Malaysian Skills Certificate (Level 3) graduation ceremony and renewal of accreditation permit for the Proton Centre of Excellence Training Centre, Shah Alam today. Pix by Intan Nur Elliana Zakaria

SHAH ALAM: Employers should offer salary increment to employees who have completed their professional certification courses or postgraduate degrees to reflect their qualifications and expertise.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot said this, in turn, would motivate employees to work harder, thus boosting productivity at work.

“I hope employers will seriously think of increasing the pay of their workforce which reflects their hard-earned qualification and experience.

“Failing to do so, will dampen their spirit and affect productivity. For instance, those who have completed their Malaysian Skills Certificate programme ought to be given increments since they have already upgraded themselves in terms of professional qualifications.

“If employers do not offer a raise, it will be meaningless,” he told reporters after attending the Malaysian Skills Certificate (Level 3) graduation ceremony and renewal of accreditation permit for the Proton Centre of Excellence Training Centre here today.

Riot acknowledged there were companies that rewarded their employees who had completed their postgraduate degree or received professional courses certificates by raising their salaries.

“I do not have the statistics, but I have been informed of companies that have given due recognition to their deserving employees. But more companies need to follow suit.

“The ministry has a guideline which employers can refer to. It outlines the certification and criteria needed to be entitled for a certain position or pay scale.

“However, we cannot compel employers to adhere to it since it’s only a guideline.”

Asked if this would be included into the Employment Act 1955, which the ministry plans to amend, Riot said: “It’s difficult to say.

"There are a lot of things we have in mind, but (this) needs to be discussed further with stakeholders, which includes employers and employees.”

Riot, in his speech, stressed on the importance of churning out skilled workforce that would equip the country for the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and propel Malaysia towards becoming an advanced nation by 2020.

This, he said, could be made possible through the targeted 35 per cent skilled Malaysian workforce as envisioned in the 11th Malaysia Plan.

“Unless we are prepared for this IR4.0, we will be left behind (from becoming a developed nation). We need to have the skillsets to adopt to digitalisation, automisation and robotics.

“However, it must be noted that we are on the right track and I’m confident that we can achieve our goal.

“In 2015, only 28 per cent or 3.4 million people out of the 14.8 million workforce in Malaysia are considered skilled. But in the last two years, we currently manage to raise it to 31 per cent.”

Riot also said the government envisaged a total of 1.5 million new jobs to be created and 60 per cent of those new jobs would need skilled workforce.

“Jobs are available, but we do not have enough people with the right skills. We must proceed with traditional eduction, but not forgetting that the Technical and Vocational Education Training is also of equal importance.”

Meanwhile, Perusahaan Otomobil National Sdn Bhd CEO Dr Li Chunrong, in his speech, said training was a crucial factor to produce quality workers.

“We (Proton) should have the confidence (as a national carmaker) because we have good products. And behind good products, we must have good people. How do we get that? Training is the most important thing.”

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