BANTING: Malaysia needs to move towards making Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) a primary choice for secondary school leavers, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also the National TVET Committee chairman, said this recommendation aligns with the country’s need to provide more skilled or competent labour to meet future job market demands.

“I believe that we need to move forward by following developed countries like Japan, where TVET is the primary choice for secondary school leavers aged 15 and above.

“In Malaysia, the Ministry of Education has also initiated TVET education through Vocational Colleges and Polytechnics for Form Three leavers, and this effort needs to be further strengthened so that TVET becomes the primary choice in this country,“ he said.

He told reporters this today after visiting the exhibition site in conjunction with the National TVET Day 2024 celebration at the Kuala Langat Industrial Training Institute (ILP) here.

Ahmad Zahid said it is not wrong for Malaysia to emulate countries like Japan as this step can prepare the country with a skilled workforce in line with technological changes and the needs of both domestic and international industries.

He said that currently, more than 4,000 courses are offered through 1,345 TVET institutions nationwide, with 250,000 admission spots available.

He said 280,000 applications had been received from Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) holders to attend these courses, and he hoped that at least 40 per cent of them can begin their studies in the July intake session.

“We hope parents can play a role by encouraging their children to pursue TVET education, which is known to promise more job opportunities with higher salaries,” he said.

He said students who did not attend the SPM 2023 examination are also eligible to study at TVET institutions, provided they have proficiency in the 3M techniques of reading, writing and arithmetic.

Ahmad Zahid said this is among the government’s efforts to ensure their future is more secure through the skills acquired via TVET education.

“In fact, we also encourage students who obtained excellent results in SPM to pursue higher education in the TVET field at five TVET universities, including UniKL, Universiti Malaysia Pahang and Universiti Malaysia Perlis,” he said.

Regarding the National TVET Day 2024 celebration, the Deputy Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction with the programmes and activities carried out, noting that more than 10,000 visitors have attended so far, with the number expected to increase with the presence of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim tomorrow.

He said 48 exhibitors from various TVET institutions are participating, showcasing their products and fields of study, and offering 5,000 job opportunities throughout the celebration.

Ahmad Zahid urged TVET and SPM graduates to visit the exhibition to explore opportunities for either securing a job or furthering their education.

The National TVET Day 2024 celebration began today, with the closing ceremony scheduled for tomorrow, to be officiated by the Prime Minister, who will also launch the National TVET Policy 2030.