Today, the Humanology team attended the HRDF Registered Training Providers Townhall Session with YB Tuan M. Kulasegaran and the Chief Executive of HRDF, Dato’ CM Vignaesvaran. First of all, we would like to congratulate the efforts of HRDF for putting this together and providing a platform for the training providers as well as trainers to voice out their opinions and vent out their frustrations for the betterment of the industry itself.
The town hall session involved a lot of complaints by training providers who are dissatisfied with the system or HRDF because of lack of transparency and they (training providers) are not getting enough businesses from HRDF. Someone commented that the tenders that they have submitted did not receive any feedback bearing in mind that the training providers need to pay a non-refundable fee of RM 300 – 500 for each tender they submit. This in our opinion have not been handled well by HRDF. However, most of the time, any tender which has been submitted and if there were no response given or the tender has been awarded to Company A, feedback are normally not given. There was another person who commented that he tried to contact HRDF but to no avail. The Chief Executive did try to explain the circumstances and was abruptly disturbed by another person who said that he is giving rubbish answers and it should be dealt better.
In such forum, the situation should be dealt better as the participants were venting out a lot of frustration on their side and things became almost out of control with someone claiming that a more competent person should be in the position of the Chief Executive. When the Chief Executive tried to call one of his officers to answer queries on the “Training Provider Star Rating”, he was turned down over and over again. The Star Rating provided by HRDF is a self-assessment and we therefore need to fill up quite a number of questions from things related to whether we have attended any HRDF conferences, number of SBL-Khas courses registered, etc. We from Humanology had the same feeling as many of the participants that the assessment on the Star Rating needs to be revised as the Star Rating would probably reflect better on companies who are bigger and therefore would have the privilege to garner higher rating. Perhaps it is time to have a platform or assessment for the trainers as well.
Our Chief Consultant also extended a question to the floor about the transparency of the tender awarded and the lack of feedback as we too have failed several attempts. However, since we are guided by Tan Sri (Dr.) Ambrin Buang who was the ex Auditor-General, we did our own small investigation on this matter. We sent one of our employees to attend training conducted by some of the 5 star training providers and honestly, we were impressed by the training providers that are very innovative and creative. It is true that some of these training providers are well-deserved providers and they can really deliver good results. We are also aware that there are some very good training providers but they are unable to hire good trainers. That is the gap that needs to be filled. The training budget is just so much and both parties demand more (trainers want higher training fees, training providers want higher profit margin). There is a need to strike a balance between the trainers and the training providers.
It is not easy to survive in the training industry and it is really unfair to put all the blame on HRDF. We are sure that HRDF has already done their very best to assist and form a link between training providers and employers. Of course they are not perfect. However, we who have been the industry for over 10 years have seen the improvement in HRDF where most processes are automated and with the help of technology, some processes are easier nowadays. Kudos to HRDF for that. Training providers and trainers are running businesses as well. In this very competitive industry with over thousands of registered training providers, we need to be innovative and creative in order to survive. We cannot wait for HRDF to feed us. They are just a platform provider to and it is a good initiative from the government that qualified employers should pay their levy to HRDF and it is really up to the training providers whether they could pitch their training programs to sell to those registered organisations. For example, we at Humanology is working to set up a Learning Management System (LMS) specifically for our trainees for them to revisit and refresh whatever knowledge, skills or information they have gathered through the training conducted by us should they need to revise at no extra costs. Perhaps, the dissatisfaction and frustration from some of the training providers is because they are not well informed and there is no proper guideline and no transparency. In our humble opinion, HRDF could probably explain and educate us as training providers that there is a fine line between trainers and training providers. You may be an International trainer with many accolades, however, being a training provider is a whole different story. When you’re in the business, you need to learn ways on how to survive. If not, you’d always remain as a freelance trainer and your organisation may never grow big. A lot of these “giants” were once small players in the industry too. By the end of the day, we still need to survive and it has always been “Survival of the Fittest” in any industry.