HRDF: Getting The Nation Ready For 2020

Oct 16, 2015 6 Min Read
Team HRDF with their wins at the HR Excellence Awards ceremony
Source:Photo above: Team HRDF with their wins at the HR Excellence Awards ceremony.

Driving the power of people

The Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) recently scooped the silver award for Excellence in Mature Workforce Practices and the bronze award for Excellence in Compensation and Benefits Strategy in the third instalment of the HR Excellence Awards by Human Resources, a publication of Lighthouse Independent Media.

Here, HRDF shares their story about how they have been working tirelessly behind the scenes in driving the national agenda of a developed nation by 2020 through catalysing a Malaysian workforce which is highly skilled; knowledgeable and innovative.

Read More: How Is HRDF Reskilling The Malaysian Workforce?

The Leaderonomics team caught up with Lim Kah Cheng, chief corporate services of HRDF to find out more.

Growing with HRDF

“I spent 12 years with several multinational corporations before joining HRDF as its research and development manager at the training resources division,” said Lim, when asked about his journey with HRDF.

“I then had the opportunity to set up the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) division in the capacity of general manager, working closely with the National SME Development Council (NSDC) on the SME agenda for upskilling.

“In 2010, I led the corporate affairs and human resources (HR) division where I strategised to transform and expand HRDF’s coverage to include an additional 19 industries from the existing 44.

“Now as chief corporate services, I make sure the different divisions and departments within HRDF function to support the mandate of Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Bhd (PSMB) Act 2011 through policy alignment, procedures and best practices.”

Leaps and bounds

Lim noted that HRDF has grown remarkably from its establishment in 1992. Starting life as an institution that collected levy and disbursed training grants, HRDF has gone from strength-to-strength to contribute significantly in providing training and upskilling interventions to key industries in Malaysia especially the SME sector.

In 2005, HRDF was appointed by the NSDC to be the coordinating body for all SME trainings. With the establishment of the National Human Resource Centre by HRDF in 2011, the agency continues to be recognised as an institution that plays a key role in facilitating the positive development of SMEs.

Lim believes that it is sooner rather than later that HRDF will be the authority in strengthening the economic development of Malaysia, through its various value-added interventions and initiatives which supports the growth of a skilled, knowledgeable and innovative national workforce.

Human capital and HR in Malaysia

Recent news reports have highlighted concerns from the business community that Malaysia continues to suffer from a shortage of skilled workers.

To help mitigate the setback, HRDF is actively identifying key industrial needs which will subsequently be matched with qualified training providers, locally and abroad.

“We are also monitoring the quality of registered training providers to ensure training certifications are of the highest standards,” said Lim.

“As more and more employers and employees in Malaysia are recognising that HR is instrumental in engaging the right talent to deliver and achieve organisational goals and objectives with better speed and precision, HR certification programmes are fast gaining traction.”

According to Lim, there is a gradual positive shift in the HR space from being an operational entity to a strategic partner in many large organisations, although it might take longer for SMEs to embrace this shift.

HRD Awards

As the authoritative institution in enterprise learning and development, HRDF is also giving out awards at the end of the year, through their very own HRD Awards event. What makes this award different from the various HR awards out there?

Lim said:

“The HRD Awards is the highest national recognition in the field of HR development, awarded by HRDF under the Ministry of Human Resources. Introduced in 2001, the Award has grown in stature to becoming recognised by industry movers and shakers as one of the nation’s most prestigious.”

The occasion serves to acknowledge employers and training providers (registered with HRDF) who are actively involved in HR development at organisational and national levels.

As part of the initiative, winners of the HRD Award will be invited to be guest speakers at HRDF’s Annual Conference, HRDF’s CEO Talk Series, HR Clubs, peer mentoring series, and other related programmes.

Image by Freepik

A Brief on HRDF


To be the human capital development authority in strengthening the economic development of Malaysia.


Spearheading the human capital learning and development through strategic interventions that fulfil the current and future needs of the nation.

HRDF’s commitment:

  • To create a highly competent, well-trained, knowledgeable and skilled workforce by equipping the current and future workforce with the latest and specific skills through retraining, up-skilling, re-skilling and cross-skilling programmes.
  • To enhance the HR capabilities of SMEs.
  • To increase Malaysia’s competitiveness in the global market by intensifying productivity and efficiency of its workforce.

HRDF’s roles and functions:

  • To assess and determine the types and extent of training and retraining needed by employees, apprentices and trainees in keeping pace with the HR needs of various industries.
  • To promote and stimulate manpower training.
  • To determine the terms and conditions under which any financial assistance or other benefits are to be given.

Image by Freepik

The HRDF Conference and Exhibition 2015, taking place on Dec 8–9 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, is a significant one this year as Malaysia assumes the chairmanship of Asean.

Themed People, Prowess, Progress, the Conference will focus on the potential of the Malaysian workforce, on how their competencies and abilities can contribute to uplift Malaysia’s economy towards the aspirations of the Asean Economic Community.

For more information about HRDF, visit For more Company Profiles, click here. is an advertisement free website. Your continuous support and trust in us allows us to curate, deliver and upkeep the maintenance of our website. When you support us, you allow millions to continue reading for free on our website. Will you give today? Click here to support us.

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Prethiba is passionate about impacting people through the written word. She believes that our lives are solely written by us, and thus the power to change for the better lies with us.

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