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MDEC rolls out new work in tech initiative

Image Credits: MDEC, Press Release

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) announced the MyDigitalWorkForce Work In Tech (MYWiT) initiative, a training and hiring incentive programme aimed at boosting the digital business services sector as well as developing quality tech talents in Malaysia. This initiative is an extension of the #MyDigitalWorkforce Movement that MDEC launched last year to help reskill and up-skill Malaysians for digital economy jobs.

The objective of the initiative is to upskill and subsidize talents and businesses with RM100 million in training and salary incentives. More than 300 companies within these sectors are expected to gain from this program while an estimated 6,000 job opportunities will be created to produce at least 1,000 quality tech talents. This is in line with the government’s Malaysia
Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL) which target to create 500,000 jobs for Malaysians by 2025.

MyWiT is made up of the following components; the Digital Business Services (DBS) and Digital Tech Apprenticeship (DTA) initiatives. DBS is aimed at incentivising companies who are hiring fresh graduates or unemployed Malaysians for digital business services roles within their organisation and offers a minimum incentive between RM9,800 and RM20,600 per employee.

For each employee, this incentive will be divided into two parts – the salary incentive, which will cover 40% of the employee’s monthly wage for six months (minimum salary of RM 2,000) and an RM5,000 training incentive. The training courses eligible for this include in-house training with a minimum of 40 hours or “Work and Learn” courses listed on MDEC’s Digital Skills Training Directory. There are 180 courses listed to date on the website.

Meanwhile, the DTA is targeted at companies that are hiring unemployed Malaysians for high demand tech jobs in areas such as Data Science, Software Development and Cybersecurity, offering a total incentive package of RM15,200 per employee. This constitutes a salary incentive of RM 1,200 per month for six months and a training incentive worth RM8,000 per employee.

Employers will be expected to pay a minimum salary of RM 3,000 from the fourth month onwards. Employers may select training courses from the “Career Upgrade” courses listed on MDEC’s Digital Skills Training Directory. All courses in the Digital Skills Training Directory have been reviewed and endorsed by industry practitioners.

The CEO of MDEC stated that MDEC closely monitors the skills demanded of talent today. Their recent analysis among various job search sites shows an increasing demand for digital jobs. A total of 47,000 tech-related jobs were advertised in all five portals up to February 2021.

MDEC targets to incentivise tech companies prepared to hire, upskill and adequately compensate the Malaysian workforce, directly averting and eradicating the impact that COVID-19 is exerting on unemployment. At the most fundamental level, the programme accelerates Malaysia’s journey towards being a digital society through creating digital opportunities for the people, businesses and the economy as a whole, in line with MyDIGITAL, she said.

To qualify for both the DBS and DTA incentives, the company must be incorporated in Malaysia and is committed to offering employment for a minimum of 12 months. The maximum hiring quota is set at 500 people for DBS and 50 for DTA.

On the other hand, individuals seeking to benefit from MyWiT must be Malaysian citizens and must not be a current or past beneficiary of any of MDEC’s MyWiT incentives or part of PenjanaKerjaya 2.0 and Penjana KPT-CAP programmes. DBS is open to fresh graduates, unemployed and retrenched individuals while the DTA is open to the unemployed and retrenched employees.

MDEC’s initiatives under the pillar of Digital Jobs and Skills have impacted more than two million Malaysians from 2016 to Q3 2020. To date, the agency has reached out to support the workforce in accessing skilling and income opportunities through programmes and initiatives which include the Digital Skills Training Directory, Global Online Workforce (GLOW) as well as Go-eCommerce.

The Minister of Communications and Multimedia stated that the Government is cognisant of the challenges brought about by the pandemic and the announcement is a testament of its continued effort to not only sustain the tech industry but also serves as a boost to increase Malaysia’s capabilities and capacities, to enable the digital business industry to survive and thrive. “Together with MDEC, we will continue to drive the digital economy forward and accelerate towards achieving the goals as set forth in MyDIGITAL in ensuring a shared prosperity for all,” he said.

The Chairman of MDEC stated that in a landscape transformed by the pandemic, embracing digitalisation and 4IR technologies is vital for businesses and the Malaysian workforce. Through this initiative, MDEC will pursue its mandate in ensuring that we bring innovation and advancement in the workplace and businesses in support of the MyDIGITAL promise. Skilling Malaysians digitally as facilitated by employer-incentivised programmes like MYWiT, counters unemployment, progressing the nation along the Malaysia 5.0 journey, he added.

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