GEORGE TOWN, Oct 6 — In a bid to meet the high demand for skilled workers in the state, Penang introduced today the first ever RM2 million German Dual Vocational Training (GDVT) programme with the signing of the training programme agreement.
Penang Skills Development Centre (PSDC) signed the agreement with the Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MGCC) and several host companies for an international training programme aimed to train students on-the-job.
“The vocational schools by the Education Ministry have failed to deliver in terms of quality graduates and this GDVT will fill the needs by the industry for skilled workers,” Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said, after witnessing the signing.
The DAP-led Penang government sponsored RM2 million towards the programme which will be conducted on-the-job at participating companies such as B Braun, Bosch, Carsem (M) Sdn Bhd, Dynacraft Industries, Inari Technology, Osram and Southern Steel.
“This is a German dual vocational training system and the first of its kind to be introduced in Malaysia,” Lim said at his speech during the signing ceremony at PSDC today.
He pointed out the uniqueness of the programme in which the students are hired by the training company as regular staff with a monthly salary while they are also getting trained concurrently at PSDC.
The first programme under the GDVT scheme in Penang is for mechatronics with a first batch of 22 students.
“We hope to open application for students not working in companies because the state government hopes to take in 500 to 600 students through our sponsorship,” Lim said.
He said the programme will also serve to reduce income inequality in Penang while improving the skills of a segment of the workforce.
“I hope more programmes such as this will be offered in future to result in more specialists in the local labour market,” he said.
Lim also said Penang’s unemployment figures have remained encouraging with the lowest unemployment rate in Malaysia now at 1.2 per cent.
Earlier, PSDC chairman Dr Juergen Schloesser said the GDVT programme is designed to upskill the existing technical workforce, especially from the operator and junior technician levels.
The main objective is to give employees an opportunity to acquire a recognised Malaysian Skills Diploma with a German Chamber (AHK) accreditation, he added.
PSDC will also be rolling out new modules to cover other industry sectors under the GDVT programme by next year.
* An earlier version of this story erroneously stated that Penang Skills Development Centre (PSDC) is state-owned when it is an independent and non-profit. Malay Mail Online apologises for the mistake.