What You Should Know Before Setting Up Your Training Business In Malaysia

I have seen my fair share of trainers, mostly part-timers or employed trainers, keen on venturing into the training industry on their own after realizing the size and potential of our training market in Malaysia.

What You Should Know Before Setting Up Your Training Business In Malaysia

Having conducted the HRD Corp Train-The-Trainer Certification Course (formerly known as HRDF-TTT) since 2014, I have seen my fair share of trainers, mostly part-timers or employed trainers, keen on venturing into the training industry on their own after realizing the size and potential of our training market in Malaysia.

Although commonly the general public would be more aware of the typical motivational talks or camps (mainly because they have been exposed to this since early age in schools), the market for training in Malaysia goes beyond student and youth development programmes. In fact, although the government or public sector remains as one of the most active markets when it comes to in-house training programmes (they used to have a quota of 7 days training per employee a year), the market which does not fall under the general public courses (think money-making seminars or sales & marketing for entrepreneurs), government sector and students programme are far more lucrative than one may think. Although the numbers may fall pale in comparison in terms of volume, the sector besides general public, government, and students’ value per programme are much higher.

For example, a typical training programme targeted towards the general public may cost a few hundred ringgit at most per participant. However, a specific topic for the corporate sector may go up for a few thousand ringgit per participant. How is this possible? Well, most corporate companies would have an allocated budget for training and development. They usually conduct a training needs analysis (some do it yearly), to identify specific training courses that their employees need to attend in order to perform a task or carry out their role better – some are based on requirements, some are for career advancement or growth.

So, the first thing one needs to know before venturing into a training business is, which target market is the training aimed at? This is because the game-plan changes drastically based on your target market. If your training is on student development (think resume writing or preparing for your first job interview), you now need to identify who pays for the student to attend your programme? So, your marketing strategy, like selecting the best channel to promote and sell your training should be catered towards the decision-maker or paymaster, not the students themselves. Based on what I have witnessed over the years, this is usually where newcomers to the industry get it wrong – they are unable to distinguish the difference between the target participant (the student) with the “actual” target market (university or college counsellors).

Now in the case where you are targeting the corporate sector, even with a vast amount of training experience in the public sector, due to the difference of work culture, nature of business, pace, etc., some content may not translate well. For this reason, to overcome the hurdles even before getting an opportunity to propose a training programme, one may need to equip themselves with the right “tools” prior to engaging with this market.

Since March 2021, the Human Resource Development Corporation, HRD Corp (formerly known as HRDF) through the expansion of the PSMB Act 2001, is currently mandated to ensure employers from almost every sector register and contribute to the HRD fund. The collection of this “human resources development levy” is for the purpose of promoting training and development of employees – basically, the employers are made compulsory to put aside money to be utilised when they train their employees. Due to this, there is a driving factor for organisations to train their staff and henceforth, create a demand for training programmes that fits their needs and requirements.

For those who would like to access this market, they would need to comply with HRD Corp’s requirements of:

  1. The trainer must be HRD Corp TTT Certified or Exempted
  2. The training service provider company must be HRD Corp Registered Training Provider
  3. The training programme must be registered as an HRD Corp Claimable Course

You may just want to head on over to their website later for more details on this matter, but based on this, I guess you would understand that being a certified trainer, registered training provider and having your training programme to be claimable would definitely be a plus point for corporate companies that is contributing to the HRD fund.

So, once you are clear on your target market and get all of the necessary “tools” sorted out, then like any other business, it all depends on your business model and strategic plan. Whether you would like to maintain doing freelance or part-time with a few trusted training provider companies or venture on your own and set up an HRD Corp Registered Training Provider, the choice is really up to you. I hope this article has help you make that decision and I wish you all the best in your journey as a training or training provider in Malaysia. Together, let’s make good quality training accessible to the people of our nation!