RM25 mln allocation to develop wood skills training in Sabah


KOTA KINABALU: The Federal Government has injected RM25 million to develop Wood Industry Skills Development Centre (WISDEC) Sabah as an excellent training centre, said Minister of Resource Development and Information Technology Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai.“Under the Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP), there will be more budget coming in with the objective of creating more skilled labour, improve chances of getting employment and ultimately help to solve employment problem in Sabah, especially among school leavers and youth,” said Yee who presented certificates to the 20 selected participants of the first Timber Processing and Finishing Technology (TPF) programme at WISDEC Sabah here yesterday.

He added that the participants were paid RM500 a month as allowance to ease their learning without having to worry about living.

“How much the pay should be is determined by the market forces and demand,” he said in an interview after the ceremony.

Nonetheless, Yee said the graduates of the program would be looking at a pay scale similar to university graduates.

In his speech, Deputy Director General of Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) Haji Osman Kassim said three participants had secured a job in the timber sector in Sabah and eight would further their studies in timber-related fields.

“Twenty out of 57 applicants were selected by WISDEC Sabah to take part in the nine-month TPF programme from April 5 last year to January 22 this year.”

In addition, WISDEC will introduce two courses – Professional Management Development Programme (PMD) for higher learning institute graduates and Certificate in TPF targeted at school leavers.

Both PMD and TPF programmes are open for enrolment in March this year.

He added that WISDEC Sabah was established by the Malaysian Timber Industry Board in 2004 to expedite technology and process transfer to produce value-added furniture and other wood products.

“Our objectives encompass organising skill training programmes, encourage the latest technology transfer, product development and offer technical consultation in the furniture field based on the demand of the timber industry.”

Also present was the Director of Industrial Development in MTIB  S Rajan.