PETALING JAYA | The RM300 fee for microcredential training grant application, which is now being reviewed after being panned by business groups, could increase training costs if implemented, say human resource industry players.

They also called for clarity and transparency on how the funds collected will be managed as the collection from the fee could add up to millions of ringgit.

In a recent circular, the Human Resource Development Corporation (HRD Corp) said from Aug 15, 2022, all microcredential-based training grant applications will be subjected to a fee of RM300 per trainee.

Microcredentials are mini- qualifications that show one has acquired to a reasonable level, skills, knowledge, and/or experience in a given subject area.

As an agency under the Human Resources Ministry, HDR Corp partnered with the Higher Education Ministry to launch the nation’s first microcredential initiative on April 14 to expand learning opportunities for the Malaysian workforce and talent.

Commenting on this, Lim Chee Gay, global chief human resources officer of TDCX, said there is a lack of clarity on the whole microcredential initiative since that announcement, and claimed there has been a lack of engagement with employers on the implementation of the initiative.

“Microcredential initiatives and implementation are not transparent, and employers only got to know about the fee structure recently from the press without much information on its workings,” he said.It was not clear if the training cost will increase with this microcredential initiative. It appears that an additional RM300 per employee per course will be imposed on the employer.

“These fees will be incorporated into the training course matrix with its own ceiling limit for each scheme,” he added.

Lim said this may, directly or indirectly, lead to an increase in the training cost charged by training providers.

“It seems that it’ll be an additional 50% higher for pax of 20 employees. This should not happen as the objective is to have our employees well-trained and employable. This will cut down on the number of employees that will receive training for the same amount on the training budget,” he added.

Meanwhile, YH Soo Hoo, founding president of Malaysian Association of Professional Trainers and Coaches (MAPTaC), said the fee of RM300 per person is too high.

“The class limit (training fee) per day per person is RM700. This makes the microcredential fee almost 50% of the training fee. What this means is that the cost of training will be going up between 30% to 50%.

“Implementation was too rushed and is now on hold again pending a technical committee review but there is no certainty if it will still be mandatory or optional. This uncertainty affects our industry as programmes that were scheduled and now delayed,” he said.

Soo Hoo also said there is lack of clarity on a lot of areas, such as the management of the initiative, as well as intellectual property ownership of the curriculum and content.“Clients want customisation of microcredentials, and that will be limited. So how will we be able to serve our clients who wants us to customise solutions for their specific programmes?” he said.

He also wanted to know who would be managing the RM300 fee collected, whether it was the government, or a third party as he estimated the total collection of the RM300 fee can range from RM300mil to RM1bil a year.

“Therefore, there should be transparency on how the monies will be managed,” he said.




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