KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) aims to recruit 400 students in a year through its Malaysian Palm Oil Training Centre (Plasma).
Plasma is offering Farm Mechanisation Operators Course that provides skills training for local youths in oil palm cultivation.
MPOB said Plasma serves as a centre of excellent to train those who are interested in palm oil management as part of efforts to reduce dependence on foreign workers in the plantation sector.
As of April this year, the industry employs nearly 338,206 foreigners in the palm oil sector.
In this context, the development of human capital to produce more skilled labour among the youth is very important to serve the sector.
MPOB said it was committed to producing a knowledgeable workforce in farm management as well as increasing the use of machinery especially for the harvesting and transportation of fresh fruit bunches in the fields.
"With this opportunity they could serve as a estet supervisor in the near future.
"It is also not possible in the next five or 10 years for them to become an estate owner if they are serious about this oil palm plantation," it said.
The Malaysian palm industry is a major contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the agricultural sector.
It contributed 4.76 per cent or RM64.84 billion to the GDP last year.
According to MPOB, Plasma trainees will be exposed to a broader knowledge of machinery to improve the operational efficiency of the oil palm plantation and increase their income.
"To date, more than 3,000 trainees have completed their training at Plasma in Keratong and Lahad Datu. Meanwhile, more than 70 per cent have ventured into careers in the plantation sector," it added.
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