Workers can demand higher pay for better skills through TVET, says minister

Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran addresses the media after the  National Labour Advisory Council Meeting in Putrajaya May 27, 2019. — Picture by Terence Tang
Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran addresses the media after the National Labour Advisory Council Meeting in Putrajaya May 27, 2019. — Picture by Terence Tang

PUTRAJAYA, May 27 — Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran today urged workers to take up technical and vocational training so they can push for higher salaries.

He said this was why the ministry proposed that technical vocational education and training (TVET) centres be opened from 5.30pm to 11pm, so that employees who are working full-time can attend the training after office hours.

“So if every worker in the country is skilled, even the janitors, those who are working (as cleaners) in the toilets, if they are properly skilled, you can command a good income,” Kulasegaran told reporters after the National Labour Advisory Council meeting here. 

He cited Singapore as an example where he claimed that various personnel there have earned certifications and can be highly trained.

“If Singapore can do it, there’s no reason why we cannot do it,” the minister asserted.

When asked if Pakatan Harapan could achieve its 2018 election promise of raising the minimum wage to RM1,500 monthly within its first term of office, Kulasegaran simply restated the coalition’s manifesto pledge of doing so “within this period”.

He also indicated that with increased skills, an employee’s income can rise from the minimum wage of RM1,100, for instance, to a higher pay.

Kulasegaran said that he has presented these initiatives to the government.

TVET Malaysia was launched by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in September 2017 after a rebranding process. It provides a variety of vocational courses.

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