KUALA LUMPUR: The government is allocating RM6.7 billion under seven key ministries for the implementation of various Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) initiatives next year.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the allocation included RM180 million as a TVET Training Fund for the Skills Development Fund Corporation to provide loans for 12,000 trainees under the Malaysian Skills Certification Programme.

“The government will also continue with the National Dual Training System programme with an allocation of RM20 million for the benefit of 3,000 trainees.

“The government also plans to extend until 2024 the individual income tax relief of up to RM8,000 for annual net savings in the National Education Savings Scheme,“ he said when tabling the Supply Bill 2023 in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Touching on the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan, Tengku Zafrul said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had agreed to give a discount on PTPTN loan repayments from Nov 1 2022 to April 30, 2023.

He said a 20 per cent discount would be given for full settlement on the remaining debt; 15 per cent discount for payment of at least 50 per cent of the outstanding debt in one payment and 15 per cent discount for payment by salary deduction or scheduled direct debit.

Prior to that, he said, the prime minister had agreed to increase the PTPTN loan rate, as well as provide computer loans for the M40 group, besides exempting PTPTN loan repayments for students who graduated with a first-class bachelor’s degree.

Meanwhile, he said the government would continue the Employment Incentives under the Social Security Organisation by paying RM600 to RM750 per month for three months to employers, and would also provide incentives, involving an allocation of RM150 million, to veterans, employers, and Private Employment Agencies that replace foreign workers with local workers.

The move is expected to open up career opportunities for more than 70,000 job seekers, he said, adding that the government, through Soso, will provide mobility assistance of RM500 to job seekers who find employment outside their state of residence, while mobility assistance of RM1,000 for long-distance migration from Sabah or Sarawak to the Peninsula and vice versa.

According to the Finance Minister, the government will continue the implementation of the short-term employment programme (MySTEP) by offering 50,000 career opportunities on a contract basis.

The service period for the public sector MySTEP will be extended until Dec 31, 2023 and the MySTEP salary will be increased by RM100 which is between RM1,500 to RM2,100 starting in 2023 compared to RM1,400 to RM2,000 currently, he added.

He said HRD Corp would provide RM750 million to provide skills training for over 800,000 employees, while the Securities Commission, in collaboration with the Capital Market Development Fund, would establish a Digital Innovation Fund (DIGID) involving RM30 million to increase the marketability of 9,000 graduates in capital market.

The government will also provide an allocation of RM20 million for the implementation of the Graduate Entrepreneur Programme (PUSh), which is expected to benefit 1,000 graduates, he added. - Bernama