Photo courtesy of Bernama

Talent Corporation Malaysia Bhd (TalentCorp), under the human resources ministry, has unveiled the Industrial Training Matching Grant Initiative for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (LiKES), dedicating RM30 million to support internship placements in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups.

Human Resources Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong announced during the launch that the fund would benefit approximately 30,000 interns in the SME and startup industries. He highlighted that LiKES, alongside the existing National Structured Internship Programme, will offer allowances during the training period.

Sim said, “For the first time, the government 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.”

The LiKES matching grant covers internship periods of up to six months and is open for application by SMEs and startups registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia.

Eligible applicants must provide internship placements lasting a minimum of 10 weeks and offer a stipulated minimum internship allowance. For interns pursuing Malaysian Skills Certificates level 1 to level 3, diploma, and Malaysian Skills Diploma, the minimum allowance required is RM500 a month, with TalentCorp reimbursing RM250 a month.

For interns pursuing the Malaysian Advanced Skills Diploma, a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or a professional certificate, the minimum allowance required is RM600 a month, with TalentCorp reimbursing RM300 a month.

Sim highlighted the significance of this initiative in bridging the gap between internship availability and demand. He stated that the transition from internships to full-time employment currently stands at 35%, underscoring the need to encourage SMEs to hire interns and ensure adequate internship placements.

Under LiKES, companies can receive cash returns of up to 50% of the minimum monthly allowances paid to interns, for a maximum of six months. The initiative aims to level the internship playing field for SMEs, which constitute 97% of total businesses in the country and contribute 48.2% to the country’s employment in 2022.

Additionally, Sim announced plans to unveil the structure of the national human resources policy in May, following consultations with various stakeholders. This policy will include provisions relating to internships, aimed at further enhancing the employment landscape.

Furthermore, discussions between Malaysia and Indonesia will take place in May to review the memoranda of understanding (MoU) on the hiring process for workers and their salaries in Malaysia. This move follows Indonesia’s demand for a review of the MoU to ensure better protection for Indonesian workers in Malaysia, particularly in agriculture and construction sectors.


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