KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF), which phased out the 1Malaysia Globally Recognised Industry and Professional Certification (1MalaysiaGRIP) programme last year, will be participating in another training and certification programme for which it will provide funding. It has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Technology Depository Agency Bhd, an agency under the auspices of the Finance Ministry and Asian Rail Academy to facilitate training and certification programmes for railway employees and fresh graduates. The three will also be working with UK-based National Training Academy for Rail and Germany-based TUV SUD to roll out the re-skilling and upskilling programme, which will be conducted in virtual reality format. The programme can run from one to five days and could cost an average of RM5,000. Employees from the railway sector according to HRDF CEO Datuk CM Vignaesvaran Jeyandran will be able to tap into HRDF’s fund. The fund is supplemented by the employer’s 1% levy contribution from the monthly wages of each employee. “Those people who are paying the levy, they will be able to utilise (pool fund). The MoU says it (the programme) will be a two-year collaboration. If they come to us and ask for funding then we will look at it on a per request basis. There is no budget allocation (for the programme),” Vignaesvaran told SunBiz. “It will depend on whether this particular programme kicks off or not. It is a good initiative if we look at the Malaysia rail industry, it is expanding, we are hoping that there (will be a) need for trained and certified workers,” he added. Vignaesvaran said fresh graduates would be able to access funds through HRDF’s other schemes such as its graduate enhancement programme for employability. This programme according to Vignaesvaran is funded through the pool fund as well. According to HRDF’s website the programme caters to unemployed graduates who are unable to secure a job at least three months after completion of their studies. The initiative aims to equip them with “high-end and application based skills as required by industries.“ “The training will be offered either by the employer’s association appointed training provider or internal trainers of the employers,” the programme’s guidelines available on HRDF’s website read. It said employer’s association will be able to claim 70% from the fund upon completion of training and 30% upon job placement. “Upon completion of training, all trainees will be absorbed as employees as the training offered is to fulfill the manpower needs of the employer,” it was stated in the guideline. Vignaesvaran said the remuneration to the employers will be based on performance, and if the graduate does not secure the job, the employer will not be paid. It was previously reported in theSun that HRDF had phased out the 1MalaysiaGRIP in October 2016, which drew flak from employers who demanded their contributions be returned as 30% of their contribution was used for the program along with a matching grant. HRDF, which had initially claimed that it had phased out the programme as funds allotted for it were fully utilised, later issued a circular stating that the balance of the pool fund were distributed to several employers associations and unions.