Former prime minister Najib Razak has urged the government to provide an option for employers who applied for the wage subsidy programme to either continue receiving subsidy assistance or help their workers through an upskilling and reskilling scheme.
“We should give employees the opportunity to upskill and reskill,” he said in a Facebook post today.
Najib said a retraining scheme would be a better option since retrenched or idle workers would be more marketable after the industry recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the scheme could be financed through bank or government loans at low-interest rates as well as subsidies from the Human Resource Development Berhad (HRDF) fund under Socso.
The cost of living for those who opt for the scheme and their families should be paid throughout the duration of the course, he said, “just like how universities students receive PTPTN”.
Najib said the training course would be a better option compared to the wage subsidy programme.
“In my opinion, this scheme is a better option for the future of the country rather than continuing to pay salary subsidies for workers who are not needed or have little work due to low demand because certain sectors will not recover in the short-term,” he said, adding that he would bring the suggestion to Parliament next week.
The wage subsidy programme was introduced by the government to assist employers who are economically impacted by Covid-19 and to make sure they can continue operating without laying off their workers.
Employers receive a subsidy for every worker who earns less than RM4,000 a month. The subsidy was initially for a period of three months but was extended to six months. FMT