Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad (TalentCorp), an agency mandated by Malaysian government to drive Malaysia’s talent strategy, has allocated MYR 30 million ($6.36 million) for internship matching grant for Malaysian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups.

TalentCorp said in a statement on Monday that it has launched the Industrial Training Matching Grant Initiative for Small and Medium Enterprises (LiKES) in support of structured and sustainable internship placement in Malaysian SMEs and start-ups.

Steven Sim Chee Keong, Minister of Human Resources (KESUMA), has emphasized the importance of fostering internship-friendly work environments, especially in SMEs.

“For the first time, the government has introduced an internship matching grant to support our SMEs and start-ups,

“Now more employers can take part in a collective nation-building effort to nurture our young talents,” he said.

According to him, LiKES, together with the existing Malaysia’s National Structured Internship Programme (MySIP) will help to provide work readiness and welfare by offering allowances during the training period.

“This will help level the internship playing field for SMEs who constitute 97 percent of total businesses in Malaysia, and contributed 48.2 percent to the country’s employment in
2022,” he said.

In addition, Sim announced enhancements to the Industrial Training Scheme (ITS) under Human Resource Development Corporation (HRD Corp) as part of a KESUMA holistic internship package tailored for employers.

Effective immediately, Malaysian employers can utilize up to 50 percent of their levy balance as of January 2024 towards ITS for the year.

The ceiling limit for monthly internship allowances claimable for each intern under the ITS scheme has also been removed.

The minister also said that on-going engagements are being conducted to develop a national internship policy that will serve as a guideline for employers hiring interns.

“As KESUMA’s strategic think tank, TalentCorp engages with industry and academia to develop guidelines for employers to prioritize interns’ skill enhancement and welfare,

“These efforts will be reflected in the upcoming National HR Policy, enabling employers to responsibly manage their internship programs,” he said.

According to the statement, the LiKES matching grant covers internship periods of up to six months and is open for application by SMEs and start-ups registered with the ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).

Eligible applicants must offer internship placements lasting a minimum of ten weeks and provide a stipulated minimum internship allowance.

For interns pursuing Malaysian Skills Certificate (SKM) Level 1 to Level 3, Diploma, Malaysian Skills Diploma (DKM), the minimum allowance required is MYR 500 ($106) a month, where TalentCorp will reimburse MYR 250 ($53) a month.

For interns pursuing Malaysian Advanced Skills Diploma (DLKM), Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, or Professional Certificate, the minimum allowance required is MYR 600 ($127) a month, and TalentCorp will reimburse MYR 300 ($64) a month.

Thomas Mathew, Group Chief Executive Officer of TalentCorp, said that a key aspect to strengthening the channeling of talent demand and supply lies in the implementation of structured internships.

“Structured internships serve as one of the key strategies to develop quality talent, reduce youth unemployment, address skills mismatch and underemployment, and improve talent skillsets to meet both current and future industry needs,” he said.

He encouraged SMEs and start-ups, especially those operating outside of cities, to apply for LiKES and provide meaningful internship opportunities to the up-and-coming workforce.

“More importantly, we seek to strategically facilitate the transition of talent from educational institutions to the workplace while also providing financial support to SMEs, enabling them to proactively participate in nurturing local talent,” he added.

TalentCorp is a Ministry of Human Resources agency that drives Malaysia’s talent strategy towards becoming a dynamic talent hub.

To support the growth and well-being of all Malaysians, the agency partners with the public and private sectors on initiatives that attract, nurture, and retain the right expertise needed to meet current and future talent demands.

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