ECERDC launches 'KERJAYA' programme to enchance Kelantan's Human Capital Development

KOTA BHARU, March 20:  The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) today launches its human capital development programme known as KerJaya in Kelantan, which is aimed at enhancing the human capital development in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER).

KerJaya was earlier launched in Pahang on December 17, 2009 and Terengganu on January 12, 2010 respectively.  Targeted at the unemployed, new graduates and school leavers, it is part of ECERDC’s human capital development programmes that were formulated to mitigate the unemployment problem that was caused by the global economic crisis.

Minister of International Trade and Industry, YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, who is also the Chairman of Kelantan State Development Action Council, officiated the launch here today.  Kelantan State Secretary, YB Dato’ Haji Mohd Aiseri Alias and ECERDC’s Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John were also present to witness the event.

Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John said KerJaya will help create more job opportunities in Kelantan and the ECER in general.  “At the same time, we hope this project could help reverse the brain drain out of Kelantan and give the skilled and trained workers a good reason to come back and be of service,” he added.

The programme is also in line with ECER’s vision to become a developed region by 2020, whereby human capital development plays a vital role in ensuring the success of ECER project implementation, particularly in creating a pool of skilled workers in the region that is crucial to attract more foreign and domestic direct investments, he said.

It also runs parallel with Malaysia’s soon-to-be announced New Economic Model, which is based on knowledge, innovation and creativity, he noted.

KerJaya is made up of the Graduate Placement Opportunity Programme (GPO), Employee Placement Programme (EPP) and Skills Training Programme (STP).

The GPO programme which started in September 2009 will see the graduates being placed within the participating companies for two years, with an opportunity to be absorbed as permanent staff at the end of the two-year tenure.

Participants will also be exposed to on-the-job training within the first nine months, while enjoying a minimum monthly remuneration of between RM1,200 to RM1,500, jointly paid by the ECERDC and participating companies.

About 500 participants from Kelantan have already signed up for the GPO programme, while over 1,300 have registered to participate in the EPP programme. To date, a total of 45 local companies have registered to take part in both programmes, of which more than 30 firms have already been approved.

Meanwhile, KerJaya’s Skills Training Programme (STP) for the unemployed, new graduates and school leavers has managed to attract nearly 600 trainees in Kelantan alone.

The trainees are currently undergoing skills training in various areas such as automotive engineering and design, hospitality and ICT, among others.

Implemented since September 2009, STP is currently being conducted at more than 10 training institutions that offer over 70 courses in total.

At the end of the training period, which is expected to run between one to 12 months, ECERDC is targeting for at least 70 per cent of the trained participants to be placed within partner companies.

KerJaya is a part of the RM7 billion economic stimulus package announced by the Government in November  2008, of which RM40 million has been allocated for skill training within the ECER under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

ECERDC’s human capital development programmes for ECER are line with the Government’s aspiration to reduce the socio-economic gap between the region and its West Coast counterparts, via the implementation of 84 infrastructure and social development projects in ECER under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.