Upskilling to Be More Competitive and Productive

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If training is facilitated by industry experts, trainees would be guided to learn systematically, see the big picture and connect the dots.

The Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdowns have decimated businesses and jobs in many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country. Those that survived will meet the same fate if they continue with the old ways under a new normal post-pandemic.

But positive change could occur through proper training that includes unlearning, relearning, upskilling and reskilling through brainstorming, discussions, workshops, access to real-time information and delivering presentation of plans and products for assessment.

If training is facilitated by industry experts, trainees would be guided to learn systematically, see the big picture and connect the dots. But if given notes or briefing in advance, trainees will treat information provided as truths and will spend time memorising instead of thinking through.


Spoon-feeding will result in shallow learning. Therefore, it is crucial that trainees are first made to share what they already know or search for relevant information before group discussions. Trainer will then explain whether they are correct, inaccurate, misperceptions or half-truths.

Many so-called training programmes are more like briefing sessions with trainers taking delight in impressing trainees by overloading facts, figures and jokes. At the end of such training, participants are muddled with misinformation and unable to articulate what they have learned.

During good times, many businesses and staff were able to get by but not so post-pandemic. Superficial knowledge is no longer enough under the new normal as those that are not fiercely competitive will lose out in business and those not highly productive may become redundant.

Hence, employees must be empowered by undergoing professional training to raise their level of competency and productivity. This will enable them to increase their skills, develop their careers to retain their current job or equip them to be more marketable in the job market.

The Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) is acutely aware that effective training is needed for industry personnel to overcome the many challenges post Covid-19 and has invited training providers to submit proposals on the most appropriate training programmes for SMEs.

In response, the Association of Tourism Training Institute of Malaysia (ATTIM) has released a press statement informing that a 10-Day Professional Certificate in Tourism Vehicles Operations will be conducted nationwide over the next few months.

The course is free of charge if approved and sponsored by HRDF and is designed specifically for the tour bus charter and car rental service sectors. The aim is to upskill current practitioners for improved performance and reskilling them to expand into new areas and boost productivity.

As none of these existing players has been formally trained in tourism vehicles business, this is a great opportunity for them to relearn and thrive in the new normal. The training offered is a ray of sunshine and timely lifeline for those operating tour bus charters and car rental services.

The views expressed here are strictly those of The True Net reader YS Chan of Petaling Jaya.