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 and school leavers entering the job market have at least 11 years of basic education.
High Priority on Education
Education and training are accorded high priority in national development under Malaysia's five-year development plans.
The quality of Malaysia's workforce is one of the best in the region.
Todate, there are 20 public and 53 private universities and as well as more than 500 colleges, 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 500,000 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. Educational institutions in Malaysia generate a large pool of professionals with degree and post-graduate qualifications.
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 Department of Skills Development (DSD) formerly known as the National Vocational Training Council under the Ministry of Human Resources coordinates the setting up of all public and private training institution, evaluates the demand for existing and future skills, identifies future vocational and industrial training needs and will continue to develop standard under the National Occupational Skills Standards (NOSS).
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.
Harmonious Industrial Relations
Industrial relations in the country are harmonious with minimal trade disputes that result in strikes. Malaysia's labour laws safeguard the interests and spell out the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees, thus providing a legal framework for the orderly conduct of industrial relations in the country.