Budget 2014: Human capital development the biggest beneficiary

Malaysia's human capital development is a big winner in Budget 2014 announcement – it is the single largest beneficiary with an allocation of RM54.6bil, or 21% of Budget 2014.

“The budget has not only highlighted the Government’s commitment to reduce the fiscal deficit but also provided fiscal space to invest in highly-prioritised area, particularly human capital development, which is outlined as the five main thrusts in transforming Malaysia into a high-income economy,” Talent Corp Malaysia Bhd chief executive office Johan Mahmood Merican told StarBizWeek.

The allocation of funds includes for strengthening tertiary education, improving the quality of training for graduates, providing schooling assistance and handing out book vouchers to develop Malaysia’s talent pool.

Besides the allocated funds, the budget also highlighted several initiatives to invite the private sector to join hands with the public sector to improve human capital quality.

“This is great as the private sector contributes significantly to the economy,” Johan said.

Among the initiatives are the Human Resource Development Fund as well as enhancing female talents in the workforce.

“In transforming Malaysia into a high-income nation, we need to capitalise our talent pool. Malaysia has a strong pool of female talents, with 68% enrolment in public universities in 2013.

“However, female participation in the workforce is now at 49.5%, lower than our neighbouring countries.

“Greater consolidated measures and initiatives have to be put in place to optimise this half of the local population,” added Johan.

Concurrently, the Government has proposed for employers that implement Flexible Work Arrangement to give flexibility in terms of duration, place and working hours at the workplace.