Malaysia offers investors a young, educated and productive workforce at costs competitive with other countries in Asia. Backed by the government's continued support of human resource development in all sectors.
The quality of Malaysia's workforce is one of the best in the region.
Literacy levels are high at more than 94% and school leavers entering the job market have at least 11 years of basic education. Many of Malaysia's university graduates are trained overseas in fields such as engineering, and accountancy, allowing them to adapt easily to an international corporate environment. English is widely used in Malaysia, especially in business thus facilitating the investor's communication with local personnel and suppliers.
In addition, labour productivity has grown steadily at more than 3.3% per annum over the last few years surpassing that of many developed countries.
Malaysia recognises that human capital is critical to the success of the country. It is focused on building the capabilities of existing talent in Malaysia, attract Malaysians who are residing overseas home and attract skilled foreign talent required for a high-income economy. TalentCorp spearheads these initiatives.
Education and training are accorded high priority in national development under Malaysia's five-year development plans.
To-date, there are more than 17 public and 20 private universities and colleges, as well as various polytechnics and industrial training institutes that offer courses leading to certificate, diploma, degree and post-graduate degree qualifications.
Total enrolment in public institutions of higher learning alone is projected to reach over 300,000 with more than half in the science and technical disciplines.
The private sector has also set up educational institutions to supplement the government's efforts to generate a larger pool of professionals and semi-professionals. Among these are institutions of higher learning set up by large corporations such as Telekom Malaysia Berhad, Tenaga Nasional Berhad and Petronas which provide degree-level courses. Various private colleges in Malaysia offer degree programmes on a twinning basis with overseas institutions of higher learning, while foreign universities have set up branch campuses in the country.
In 1993, the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) was launched by the government to encourage training, retraining and skills upgrading in the private sector. Employers, in the manufacturing and service sectors who contribute to this fund are eligible to apply for grants to defray or subsidise the costs incurred in training and retraining their workforce.
The National Vocational Training Council under the Ministry of Human Resources coordinates the planning and development of a comprehensive system of vocational and industrial training programmes for all public training agencies. It also develops the National Occupational Skills Standards (NOSS) on a continuous basis.
To-date, there are more than 700 standards covering certificate, diploma and advanced diploma qualifications.
Besides the increasing number of public training institutions such as technical schools, polytechnics, industrial training institutes and skills development centres to meet the growing requirements of the industrial sector, collaborative efforts between the Malaysian government, enterprises and foreign governments have resulted in the establishment of several advanced skills training institutes such as the German-Malaysian Institute, Malaysia France Institute, Japan Malaysia Technical Institute, British Malaysia Institute and Malaysian Spanish Institute.
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