KUALA LUMPUR: The move to empower Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yesterday can increase the percentage of skilled workforce in the country thus putting Malaysia on par with developed countries, according to academicians.
Universiti Tun Hussein Onn (UTHM) Faculty of Technical and Vocational Education deputy dean (Academic and International) Dr Mohd Hasril Amiruddin said for Malaysia to become a developed and high-income country, 60 per cent of its workforce must be skilled workers, adding that by comparison, Germany has 80 per cent of skilled workers, while more than 50 per cent of Singapore’s workforce are skilled workers.
“TVET, which can be considered the key to the country’s progress, is the best platform for youths to participate in skills training, ...of getting new skills, upskilling and reskilling with a market-driven concept,“ he said when contacted by Bernama here today.
The government is targeting to reach 35 per cent of the skilled workforce in the economic sector by 2030.
During the ‘Temu Anwar Kuantan’ programme at Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi MARA yesterday, Anwar said it was necessary to empower TVET in Malaysia to produce more trained graduates that enjoy better pay.
Anwar said even though the percentage of TVET students obtaining employment is high, he is still not satisfied as these skilled graduates receive low wages of below RM2,000 compared to TVET workers overseas who command higher salaries.
Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) Faculty of Economics and Muamalat deputy dean (Research and Innovation) Associate Prof Dr Fuadah Johari said TVET empowerment will increase the country’s competitiveness in skilled manpower resources.
“Empowering TVET with a higher starting salary can reduce the brain drain of TVET graduates (applying for jobs) overseas in addition to increasing facilities that support TVET’s energy resource needs,“ she said.
Meanwhile, a student majoring in welding technology at Shah Alam Vocational College Amsyar Rizzqin Mohd Ali Shah, 17, said the government’s move to empower TVET including increasing the starting salary will attract many young people to pursue their studies in the field, adding that TVET has been the last option for many school leavers due to the perception that it is a second-class education.
“However, with these continuous measures by the government to empower this field as well as the high marketability of (TVET) workforce, I am confident that more young people will choose TVET from now on,“ he added. -Bernama