Under the Human Resource Development Act 2001, it is mandatory for companies in the manufacturing and service sectors to contribute a monthly levy to the Human Resource Development Fund. The levy is managed by Human Resource Development Berhad or PSMB (Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad); whereby the money is returned to the companies when the companies submit claims for reimbursements of training cost for programs conducted for their employees. Ideally, this requirement for companies to conduct training for their employees would enable Malaysia to have trained and skilled workforce to serve the local and international market. Sadly, this is not the situation now!

In Malaysia, only a handful of companies conduct training programs on a regular basis for their employees. The management teams of these companies place a high emphasis on improving and enhancing the knowledge and skills of their workforce. For them, it is no longer human resources; it becomes human capital where any money spent of the employees is considered as an investment to increase the “capital” of the company. Employees in these companies benefit from the training programs conducted for them. Training helps to increase their knowledge and skills, and this enables them to be able to perform their job better. The knowledge that the company is willing to invest in them will also serve to motivate the employees.

From the employees’ viewpoint, it is also a similar situation where only a handful of employees perceive attending training programs as beneficial for them. These employees look forward to the announcements by the Human Resource Department about any upcoming training programs. By attending the training program willingly and learning as much as they can, these employees are increasing their value in the job market through the increase in their competency level. Ultimately, this will enable them to climb the corporate ladder faster and advance further in their career compared to their colleagues who dislike attending training programs.

The perception towards training, whether by the employer or the employee, should be changed from one where it is considered as a waste of time to one where it will help the employee to perform better and ultimately, the company benefits as well. The need for training should be taken seriously whereby a training unit or department is formed to ensure that the employees’ training needs are identified and training solutions provided. This training unit will carry out the necessary tasks needed to identify the training needs, and thereafter organize relevant training programs for the employees. This would be the best usage of the training fund that has been put in place, to train the workforce of the nation to move towards being a developed nation.

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC)