A LOT has been said about Human Resource Development Corporation’s (HRD Corp) intention of proposing that all training programmes registered with HRD Corp and offered to its registered employers must be micro-credential ready.
What are micro-credentials?
Micro-credential is essentially a pathway and delivery process that provides for evidence that learning outcomes have been acquired by a learner, or in this case an employee, after having attended a course or learning experience and this is then measured according to domains related to the knowledge, skills and attitude pre-learning during and post learning.
Why the need for micro-credentials for workers?
Following the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and amid a global economic slowdown, Malaysia is facing a pressing talent shortage across almost every business and organisation.
There is an acknowledgement that there is a shortage of workers who possess the skills that match the roles required of them.
It has become challenging to find workers with the appropriate skills and talent, an impasse that is now known as the “skills gap”.
At this juncture, let me also state why HRD Corp has been entrusted by the Malaysian government to address issues related to the supply of talent in the country.,
The Human Resources Development Act 2001 provides for the imposition and collection of a human resources development levy for the purpose of promoting the training and development of employees, apprentices and trainees, the establishment and the administration of the fund by the corporation and for matters connected therewith.
Part II of the law under clause 4 states that the functions of the corporation are:
a) To assess and determine the types and extent of employees’, apprentices’ and trainees’ training and retraining in keeping with the human resources need of industries;
b) To promote and stimulate manpower training; and
c) To determine the terms and conditions under which any financial assistance or other benefits are to be given.
This should address any stakeholder’s concerns who may be unclear as to the powers and the functions of HRD Corp.
Coming back to why the need for micro-credentials. Most people tend to equate micro-credentials to a pathway for the acquisition of an academic qualification and cannot seem to see beyond that, never mind that micro-credentials are considered a disrupter of the traditional modes of education.
The micro-credential framework introduced by HRD Corp is unlike the framework introduced by the Malaysian Qualifying Agency, an organisation tasked with overseeing the pathways that lead to academic credentialing per se.
HRD Corp’s micro-credential efforts focus on bite-sized qualifications that demonstrate skills, knowledge and/or experience in a specific subject area or capability, hence the focus being on competencies and skills.