KISMEC was established in March 1993 with the primary interest of providing training and development in order to enhance the skills and knowledge of employees in the industrial sector. Currently KISMEC has two centres in Kedah with its Head Office located in Sungai Petani and another newly set up centre at the Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Kedah, Malaysia's first Hi-Tech Park. Under the 9th Malaysian Plan, KISMEC is allocated a total of RM15 million for the purpose of acquiring and upgrading its infrastructure and facilities. This sum will be spread throughout 2006 to 2010 and will involve the construction of KISMEC's renowned training complex, complete with hi-tech facilities and training equipment.In the early 1990s, the Malaysian Cabinet had agreed to the recommendation made by the Cabinet Committee on Training for all states to form a Skills Development Centre in each state. Thus, the Kedah State took up this suggestion and formed its own Skills Development Centre and named it as KISMEC - Kedah Industrial Skills and Management Development Centre. KISMEC commenced its training activities from November 1993.

So far, KISMEC has trained 18,245 skilled and semi-skilled employees and 2,642 high school leavers and fresh graduates in the various technical, vocational and management programmes. There are 12 Skills Development Centres in Malaysia .Only the states of Perlis and Kelantan do not have such training centres.

All centres are formed with almost a similar set up whereby the formation is made up of the State Government, the Federal Government and the Private sector. The Federal Government gives financial grant solely for the purchase of training facilities, training equipment, cost of construction of the skills centre, purchasing a building or housing the skills centre.