SUNGAI PETANI: The Kedah state government, together with the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA), has launched four human capital and entrepreneurship development programmes to help boost the people’s income, especially those from the B40 community.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, launching the state level Human Capital Programmes: Encouraging Prosperity, Empowering the People here, said the four initiatives are aimed at addressing the skills gap and ensuring holistic poverty eradication in Kedah.

The four programmes are empowerNCER, entrepreneurNCER, NCER Talent Enhancement Programme (NTEP) and Bumiputera Facilitation Fund.

Mukhriz said the four programmes will zero in on youths, micro entrepreneurs, Orang Asli, and women, who are recipients of the Kasih Ibu Darul Aman (KIDA) aid.

He said the empowerNCER programme is designed to provide participants with basic skills in fields such as spas, wiring and sewing while entrepreneurNCER focuses on helping micro and small and medium enterprises.

“Through the NTEP, participants will be given work skills training in order to ensure sufficient workforce to meet the needs of the industry in the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), while the DMB will support Bumiputera entrepreneurs in the form of financing,” he said.

NCIA has also established strategic cooperations with Agrobank and Maybank to assist with financial aids and guidance for entrepreneursNCER participants. The private sector’s investment in the NCER Talent Enhancement Programme can help resolve the issue of unemployed graduates.

Up until October, eight companies have invested RM5.6 billion by hiring 215 graduates. Through this program, the state aims to create 4,310 more job opportunities for unemployed graduates.

NCIA chief executive Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John said the first phase of the programme will target 2,200 participants in skills and entrepreneurship training.

A total of 2,600 students from mainstream schools will participate in academic training, together with 300 indigenous students through empowerNCER.

“We have also targeted 1,000 micro entrepreneurs and local traders to participate in entrepreneurNCER”, he said.

“The readiness of a high-skilled workforce is critical to support the economic shift to a knowledge, innovation and technology-based activities.

“As such, human capital development plays a key role in generating and spurring the nation’s economic growth. NCIA will continue to focus on enabling programmes spearheaded by industries, hence reducing instances of non-skills matching,” he said

Source: New Straits Times