Sarawak needs funds, authority to develop own workforce – Patriots

Graduation. — file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

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KUCHING, July 11: Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) proposes that Sarawak take care of its own human capital development programmes by setting up its own Sarawak Human Capital Development Fund.

“Our land size is as big as West Malaysia but our economic contribution measured by GDP is less than 10 per cent to the overall Malaysian GDP.”

“SPA’s recent focus group discussion with graduates who hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, showed that there was a constant migration of skilled workforce to Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru where the economy is seen to be more vibrant with better salaries.”

SPA pointed out that in terms of GINI coefficiencts, Sarawak stands at 44.8 per cent.

The GINI coefficient is a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income or wealth distribution of a nation’s residents, and is the most commonly used measurement of inequality.

SPA said the average GINI coefficient for West Malaysian states is 40.8 per cent and argued that this was due to highly differential economic and human capital development.

“The road length per land area in Sarawak is almost five times lower than West Malaysia.  This has resulted in rural connectivity to the urban areas by roads. Some villages in Sarawak need to be accessible by river only.”

SPA thus called upon the government to play a key role in helping to build more roads in Sarawak to connect urban and rural areas.

The NGO also pointed out that a competency based skills analysis needed to be developed among the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and “big players’  so that training could provided to the workforce to address their staff’s competency gap.

“Addressing the work force competency gap will bridge the team to achieve the required workforce productivity.”

SPA said there was a body at the federal level, the Human Resources Development Bhd (PSMB) to look into the competency needs of the workforce.

“However, for the past years, any competency based training provided by PSMB seldom reached Sarawak as many SME and major players in West Malaysia will grab the opportunities.

“If West Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah are equal partners, SPA asks that PMSB allocate minimum 33 per cent of their training incentives to Sarawak.

“Setting up a Human Capital Development Authority in Sarawak will enable the Sarawak Government’s direct control over the training of the workforce in both the private and public sector; by linking our Chief Minister’s (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) initiative of big data economy to champion the industries.

“Sarawak needs to look after our own workforce needs. We have competent and qualified trainers in Sarawak who will be able to help the industries in talent management and to develop a competent skilful workforce.”

SPA added that continuous education and up-skilling of the workforce would help in the transition of SME and big industries to high value industries with improved economic efficiency. — DayakDaily