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Beginning this year, the award of scholarships will be based on the need for scholars to meet their bond obligations upon graduation, by securing employment either with the public sector or an approved private sector company in Malaysia, the prime minister said.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he was confident that with the move, the Public Service Department (JPA) and Talent Corporation Malaysia Bhd (TalentCorp) would optimise the nation’s best and brightest, to ensure a strong pipeline of top scholars for the Government Transformation Plan (GTP) and Economic Transformation Plan (ETP).

He said Malaysia could not be on the road to a knowledge-intensive and innovation-led economy without the talent to drive it.

“Malaysia has talent, indeed we have global talent, the only problem is that the world knows it and therefore Malaysia has to compete for its own talent,” he said.

Najib said in terms of engaging fresh graduates entering employment, TalentCorp sets out a three-prong approach, namely to create awareness on job and career opportunities, enhance the transition from school to workplace such as through internship, and optimise talent such as management of government scholars.

He said during the National Student Consultative Council event last year, student leaders called for greater exposure to careers in National Key Economic Area sectors, and that the government committed to 12,000 internship allocation.

“Today it gives me great pleasure to announce that the incentive is further extended to encompass companies under the Petroleum Income Tax Act 1967,” he said. Najib said to further enhance the targeting of upskilling programmes, TalentCorp and the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) would collaborate and coordinate upskilling programmes for graduates to ensure resources are invested according to priority sectors.

“The upskilling is projected to benefit close to 10,000 graduates per year, mainly engineers and will involve an allocation of about RM200mil per annum across various ministries,” he said.

Meanwhile, Najib said TalentCorp had outlined three approaches to attract and facilitate global talent, which are reaching out to Malaysians abroad, facilitating returning talents, and enhancing expatriate facilitation.

He said upon immigration innovations introduced last year, over 500 top professional expatriates from leading companies had been granted the Residence Pass, a 10-year visa enabling them to reside and contribute to the Malaysian economy.

“I am pleased to announce that the Residence Pass will be extended to successful entrepreneurs engaged in knowledge-intensive activities,” he said.

The prime minister said this in his keynote address when launching TalentCorp’s Talent Roadmap 2020 at Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC), here Wednesday.

The Talent Roadmap 2020 articulates TalentCorp’s role and plan of action towards delivering greater talent availability, in line with the ETP.

Najib said Talent Roadmap 2020 identified three strategic thrusts for talent interventions to optimise Malaysian talent, attract and facilitate global talent, and build networks of top talent. – Bernama

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