Change Of Perception Will Ensure TVET Success


PETALING JAYA - Malaysians need to change their perception on the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector in order for the country to be successful in producing more skilled workforce.

Director of Talent Enablement, Multimedia Development Corporation (MDec) Muhammad Imran Kunalan Abdullah said despite having a comprehensive national education blueprint and emphasis by the government, TVET success depended a lot on the support and participation of the society at large.

"We must start to see that TVET jobs have very good prospect and it is the way forward for the country as we set to becomeahigh income nation," he said at the 20th Malaysian Education Summit organised by Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute here, today.

He is one of the panelists for the session titled "Revisiting TVET - What Industry Needs Most?".

Imran added that at the same time, employers must also play their roles to help to retain local skilled workers in the country.

He said that if employers are willing to pay TVET workers competitive remunerations, in the long run, the sector will not be viewed as dirty, dangerous and demeaning jobs.

"If employers are not willing to pay them the salary that equate to their skill, you are bound to lose them to others especially to other countries which will value their worth better," he said.

Another panelist, Adeline LK Foo also opined that negative perception of the society especially parents, was the major stumbling block to the success of TVET, as many still viewed the field as second class education and job compared to other white collar professionals.

Foo, who is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of TOC Automotive College, said in order to shift this perception, there must be changes at the core of the national education system, where children who are skill-inclined can be sent to vocational schools from the start to develop their talents.

"We must give equal respect to both the academic and vocational education, rather than we assess students based on their UPSR results, where those who did not perform are sent to vocational schools, while those who performed academically continue their education at the normal school," she said, adding that such system would only create unhealthy perception towards TVET students.

Sharing Germany's experience, Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry Executive Director Danial Bernbeck said Germany had been able to remain forerunner in the technology and industrial fields because of the strong emphasis given to skill development by its people.

He said German employers had not only emphasised on hiring skilled workers to hold crucial positions, they also provided these workers with career advancement plans, remunerations and at the same time they were sent to upskilling training programmes in employment.

Under the 2016 Budget, the government has allocated RM4.8 billion to 545 TVET institutions to train more skilled graduates.

Currently only about 3.86 million of the total 14 million workforce in the country are skilled workers.

The Economic Planning Unit meanwhile had projected that Malaysia would need at least 4.5 million skilled workers by 2020.

Article source: BERNAMA & Malaysia Education Hub