Over 5000 workers earn skills certificates in 2017

The Myanmar National Skills Standards Authority (NSSA) has issued more than 5000 certificates recognising workers’ skills during the 2017-2018 fiscal year, said Minister of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, and Population U Thein Swe.

A total of 5855 workers who applied to the NSSA took the examinations and 5164 workers were issued a certificate confirming their skills according to international standards, said U Thein Swe at a certificate awarding ceremony recognising national-level skilled workers in the Mandalay Industrial Zone on May 5.

The numbers exceeded the estimate target of the NSSA with a success rate of 88 percent, said the minister.

“In order for the nation’s economy to develop, we’re transitioning from works based on natural resources to human resources. Competition among skilled workers will not only take place in the nation but also with other neighbouring countries in the region,” said the minister.

Among the challenges to foreign investment are the price of land and the scarcity of skilled workers, which needs to be remedied, said U Thein Swe.

“There will be free trading in the ASEAN community. Myanmar workers need to be trained enough to be able to compete with workers from other countries. As there are many investments here, the skills certificates will help against wage discrimination,” he added.

To receive this certificate, everyone can apply to the Myanmar Occupational Competency Standards Group for any of the four levels offered: semi-skilled worker 1, skilled worker 2, advanced skilled worker 3, and supervisor 4.

The training mainly targets active employees, and any worker who has been sufficiently trained for the certificate he or she seeks is welcomed to do so, according to NSSA Associate Secretary U Kyaw Kyaw Lwin.

“For example, a level 1 worker must have about six months of work experience. His employer must confirm his experience. Practical experience is the main requirement. If he has the experience he can sit for the certificate exam. We abide by international standards adapted to the work environment of Myanmar. For instance, other countries may use high tech machines but we reflect the use of machines in Myanmar,” he said.

Certificates are divided into 18 skill categories such as electrical installation, agricultural maintenance, furniture, construction, hotel servicing, small-scale maintenance, marketing staff, and welding. In the future, certificates will cover 30 different skills categories, according to U Kyaw Kyaw Lwin.

“ASEAN workers will come in with this kind of certificate. If our workers don’t have one, it would hurt them. With the certificate, their skills are reassessed before taking the exams. I think this will help them in finding jobs,” said Ko Aung Phyo Wai who was issued a level 1 certificate.

“The skill recognition certificate is beneficial for workers, business owners and the country. One can expect to find a stable job, promotion and pay raise with a certificate,” said U Kyaw Kyaw Lwin.

In 2016, certificates were given to 1092 men and 396 women in Mandalay in 11 skill categories.

“In Mandalay, skilled workers are required as the city has many automobile, textile and industrial businesses. The standards required by the NSSA are internationally recognised. Workers need to get these certificates before getting employed,” said Mandalay Regional Chief Minister U Zaw Myint Maung.

Source: Myanmar Times

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