PUTRAJAYA: Wages of workers can go up by 10-20% if they have a chance to attend after-work training at Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions.

Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran (pic) says that when workers are upskilled and reskilled, they are able to push up their salary.

“If every worker in the country is skilled, even janitors, they can command a good income.

“If Singapore can do it, there’s no reason why we cannot do it,” he said after the National Labour Advisory Council Meeting here yesterday.

Kulasegaran had previously suggested that TVET institutions should operate from 5.30pm to 11pm instead of just the normal working hours of 8am to 5pm.

Yesterday, he said measures were being looked into to facilitate training for workers, especially those whose employers may be reluctant to send them for training.

Some employers, he said, had legitimate fears that their workers would leave for other jobs after they had undergone training.

“We have to have a win-win solution. We have to come up with a better plan where the employee has the right to go for training,” he said.

One suggestion that can be implemented is to have employer and worker sign an agreement where the worker is bonded to the employer for a period of time after the training is over.

“For the employers, it is very saddening to send workers for training and they just leave. It will affect their businesses, so they must be able to ‘hold back’ (their employees),” said Kulasegaran.

The government, he said, was also looking at the types of incentives they could offer to workers to upskill and reskill themselves.

He added that the emphasis on TVET could help bring up the rate of skilled workers from the current 28% to 35% in 2020.