09/09/2021 07:28 PM

ALOR SETAR, Sept 9  -- The Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) has urged businesses in the Langkawi tourism industry to participate in its programmes to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in that sector.

NCIA, in a statement today, said it has collaborated with the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) in introducing the Northern Corridor Economic Region’s (NCER) various integrated human capital programmes (HCP); JomKerja@NCER, JomNiaga@NCER and entrepreneurNCER, among others.

"More than 100 Langkawi tourism players, including representatives from several international hotel chains, had attended a special webinar recently which was jointly organised by LADA and NCIA to accelerate the readiness of the industry in anticipation of the reopening of Langkawi on Sept 16," it said.

The statement also said the primary objective of the webinar was to provide updated information and guidance for the tourism fraternity on NCER’s HCP in an effort to revive the tourism industry.

"NCIA urges businesses in the Langkawi tourism industry to participate in JomKerja@NCER and JomNiaga@NCER to continue the hiring process and retaining of workers for micro and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

"Businesses will be able to sustain their cash-flow by capitalising on the programme’s wage subsidy of RM600 to the maximum of RM1,000 per worker per month for a period of six months," it said.

Additionally, NCIA said JomKerja@NCER is a human capital incentivisation programme for companies in NCER to employ and train retrenched workers, unemployed graduates, and school leavers.

"This is to aid in the creation of a skilled workforce that matches the needs of the tourism industry in Langkawi and improve the marketability and quality of life of the participants," it said.

Meanwhile, JomNiaga@NCER is aimed at the youth, women, small traders, microenterprises, and retrenched workers in the B40 category.

“The JomNiaga@NCER provides technical, skilled, and semi-skilled courses to help participants gain higher income within a short period, as well as enable the start-up of businesses with low capital.

“Another programme the local tourism industry can benefit from is the entrepreneurNCER, a holistic and comprehensive programme to assist microentrepreneurs and SMEs in the NCER,” it said.

The entrepreneurNCER provides financial assistance in terms of loans and mentoring services to entrepreneurs who wish to grow their businesses through strategic partnerships with Maybank and Agrobank.

“These banks provide soft loans to entrepreneurs via a 50 per cent topping up method of bank interest rates,” said NCIA.

To date, JomKerja@NCER has already assisted three companies involved in hospitality, tourist attraction and recreation, respectively, along with a total of 65 participants in Langkawi, it added.

It also said that more than 370 participants in Langkawi have benefitted from the JomNiaga@NCER programme and received their business starter kits based on the courses enrolled.

“While for the entrepreneurNCER programme, a total of 147 microenterprises and SMEs from various sectors benefited from loans approved by Maybank or Agrobank amounting to RM4.4 million as at July 31, 2021,” said NCIA.

Meanwhile, NCIA chief executive Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John said the programmes offered to the Langkawi tourism industry by NCIA is part of their goal to play a strategic role in rejuvenating the tourism economy in the region which is about to recover from the pandemic.

He also added that ultimately the programmes’ beneficiaries are the rakyat, as their needs to improve their income and sustain a livelihood during this pandemic period is of utmost importance.

LADA chief executive officer Nasaruddin Abdul Muttalib said it appreciates the efforts by the state and federal governments through NCIA to assist companies and workers in the local tourism industry recover from the impact of the pandemic through the various NCER human capital programmes implemented.



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