TVET to reduce foreign workers, says minister

By S BIRRUNTHA / Pic By TMR

ONE way to cut down on foreign workers in the country is through Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran (picture) said the government wants to reduce labour incentive as much as possible and have more trained and qualified workers.

“The whole process of TVET is to arm our children with (the) proper qualifications so that when they come out of institutions, they can get jobs,” he told reporters in a press conference at the TVET 2019 pre-launch yesterday.

Kulasegaran added that there are currently 15.5 million workers in Malaysia, but only 30% of them are “skilled”, while about 10 million are “unskilled”.

He hoped that TVET will provide a good learning platform for the youth beyond a focus on academics and prevent them from falling into social ills.

The theme of TVET 2019 is “Human Capital Development to Enhance Future Skills Agenda” which aims to discuss its direction in Malaysia, and to identify and close the gap of knowledge and skills in the industry.

The ministry had appointed one of TVET’s graduates, Yusry Abdul Halim of KRU Academy.

Kulasegaran stated that he will continue to work with Yusry and hopes that he is versatile enough to help the ministry in all areas.

He also added that there is an acute shortage of students entering TVET programmes, while many others are jobless.

“There is a lack of support from parents, which is why many youths avoid TVET, and we are trying hard to change their mindset and educate them on its importance.

“Academic results are complementary, but TVET is technical and will prepare them to face the outside world. The marketability of TVET is 94% and the other 6% is of course the academic (side).

“This is a new thing being done by the government by encouraging a new mindset towards courses like plumbing and electrical, which also includes business values.”

On a positive note, due to its aggressive promotion, there is a rise in percentage of TVET students.

According to Kulasegaran, there is currently a 25% vacancy in TVET courses, with the most popular one being aircraft maintenance.

“The Japan-Malaysia Technical Institute located in Butterworth had only 1,000 spots, but we have 6,000 applicants now,” he said.

The TVET 2019 conference will be held on July 8 and 9 at the Marriot Hotel Putrajaya and will be officiated by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The conference will see presentations by industry experts and representatives from South Korea, Germany and Japan.

Its main objective is to create significant awareness on TVET and Industry 4.0 fields, particularly in terms of courses offered that can meet the needs of the industry and the job market.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Human Resources’ manpower department and the National University of Malaysia hosted a “technopreneuer” TVET competition.

Over 120 innovative products were submitted, and 12 of them have been selected for a pitching session in the conference.

The aim of the competition was to expose students and teachers of the Manpower Department Training Institute to commercialisation of products, intellectual property, financial management and product costs.