KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has objected to a proposal to make it mandatory for private companies to pay an allowance to students who undergo industrial training in the private sector.
It said the requirement would discourage employers from offering places for internship.
MEF president Syed Hussain Syed Husman said the government should instead offer businesses more incentives to take in interns as well as to make it mandatory for all undergraduates to undergo internship.
He was commenting on youth and sports minister Hannah Yeoh’s proposal to make it compulsory for companies in the private sector to pay interns an allowance as it is being done in the public sector.
She said the higher education and human resources ministries should discuss the pros and cons of implementing this in the private sector.
In a statement today, Syed Hussain pointed out that an internship is a chance for students or fresh graduates to gain valuable industry experience that will help them become more employable.
“MEF is of the view that employers should pay internship allowance at their discretion,” he said.
“It is advisable for employers to pay some allowance to the interns, and employers eed to take into consideration rising costs of living faced by the interns.
“Generalised statements that industries do not give allowance to interns are not fair to employers.”.
Currently, private companies that take in interns to undergo industrial training pay allowances at their discretion, with the average allowance in bigger cities for an intern being about RM1,200, but some are paid less than RM1,000 a month.
Some of the bigger companies are paying more than RM1,200 a month.
Syed Hussain said employers have to carry out a lot of planning to ensure knowledge and skills are transferred to interns.
He also said stakeholders should thank industries for helping to train interns.