The Ministry of Resource Development and Information Technology will continue to empower Sabahans with ICT skills and knowledge in 2013, said its Minister Dr. Yee Moh Chai during his winding-up speech at the State Assembly today.
Dr. Yee told the Dewan that the Ministry received a supply allocation of RM87.89 million and a development allocation of RM6.93 million in the 2013 budget. This allocation will be used for human capital development, tackling the unemployment problem, and bridging the digital gap between urban and rural areas.
To accelerate the development of human capital in Sabah, the Ministry will proceed to the second phase of the study on Sabah Manpower Planning Requirement 2010-2025. According to Dr. Yee, the objective of this study is to take human capital development to the next level to meet the manpower needs of the state. Other studies also conducted by the ministry include a survey to establish the extent to which the Ministry’s ICT and language classes are considered successful.
“My Ministry is committed to provide the catalyst and leadership for the development of human capital in Sabah,” Dr. Yee said.
In 2013, the Ministry will also conduct a “6G Welding course” at the Institute Latihan Perindustrian ILP in Papar. Successful trainees will receive an internationally recognized competency certificate awarded by a recognition body appointed by PETRONAS.
“The advantage that this certificate has is that it is recognized not only in Malaysia but also in Australia and Singapore,” he said.
The course will also open the door to an array of job opportunities in the oil and gas industry, according to Dr. Yee.
Unemployment is a long-standing issue in Sabah. To tackle this issue, Dr. Yee’s ministry will continue to organize the Youth Mentoring Day Programme, specifically targeting school leavers and job seekers in the state. This programme is intended to lead to job opportunities among youths and possibly also to various training courses in private and public higher education institutions.
The Ministry has organized this programme in seven districts, namely, Papar, Membakut, Tenom, Keningau, Ranau, Kudat and Kota Kinabalu with a total attendance of 1, 605 people this year. The ministry expects 2000 participants next year.
The Youth and Career Seminar is another programme designed to tackle unemployment in the state. It received favorable response from the public this year, with 574 attendees in 5 districts. The ministry will continue the same programme next year with a target attendance of 1, 000 people.
Dr. Yee also indicated that his Ministry would work together with the trade union and the Sabah employers’ associations to tackle issues relating to the implementation of minimum wage, extension of the retirement age and the welfare of workers generally.
The digital gap between urban and rural areas will continue to be a primary concern of the Ministry in 2013. It will conduct more advanced training and ICT courses, as well as continuing with the Creative Arama IT programme in all districts. According to Dr. Yee, in this regard his Ministry has also established 19 e-Desa Centres in its effort to bridge the digital divide.
He said each e-Desa Centre is given the opportunity to hold activities and business enterprises that have bearing on the needs and circumstances of the area. As an example, the e-Desa in Tangkarason village, Paitan has established restaurants, swiftlet-farming centres and home-stay accommodation for visitors.