Plantation owners mull programmes with Sarawak Skills

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KUCHING: Collaboration between Sarawak Skills and the Sarawak Oil Palm Plantation Owners Association (SOPPOA) will pave the way for the oil palm industry’s current and future training needs in the state.

According to SOPPOA chief executive officer, Dr Felix Moh, a meeting between the two organisations recently highlighted two programmes towards achieving this goal, namely, the Plantation Assistant Programme and Place and Train Programme.

“The Plantation Assistant Programme is an employee development programme covering a broad range of functional areas particularly focused on sharpening field operation management skills for the supervisor level.

“In addition to that, the course would also incorporate elements on business management roles including work management, resource management, and many others which aim to prepare participants for further career advancement when the chance arises.

“The overall learning experience will emphasise on the action-learning approach to problem-solving whereby participants are required to apply the theory learned from classes on a case study that is being practised in the plantation,” Moh said.

Meanwhile, the Place and Train Programme is a skill training programme targeting school leavers.

Moh elaborated that the objective of this programme is very similar to vocational education which imparts the skills and knowledge needed to work in a given occupation.

“However, the difference is that students will be placed at the participating companies and ‘work’ like normal employees for a period of time while training is conducted.

“The advantage of this mode of training is that the students will receive allowances and other employment benefits from the participating company throughout the period of training.

“Upon completion of the training, the students not only will be awarded relevant certificates but also have the opportunity to continue employment with the participating company directly,” he added.

Sarawak Skills is currently focusing on enrolling students for field operations such as fruit picking and gathering, as well as maintenance duties such as manuring and weeding.

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