Possible to achieve 35% of TVET intake next year

It is not impossible if the industry players are willing to give extensive cooperation


THE Education Ministry is confident that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions will produce 35% of skilled labour next year.

Minister Dr Maszlee Malik (picture) said with the TVET Empowerment Cabinet Committee, TVET institutions were grouped under eight different ministries including the Human Resources Ministry.

He said the committee had also engaged over 40 leading organisations from industry associations and commerce chambers — including the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) and the Malaysian Employers Federation — to formulate the next course of action in developing talents from TVET programmes.

“It is not impossible if the industry players are willing to give extensive cooperation.

“With more than 40 associations attending this dialogue today, I strongly believe that we can achieve that,” he told reporters after launching the National TVET Campaign in Putrajaya yesterday. A dialogue session was held between the government and industry players earlier.

Maszlee said among the main challenges raised in the closed dialogue were the low pay offered in the technical and vocational fields, and public perception and behaviour towards TVET enrolment.

“TVET is not a secondary or alternative path anymore. We want TVET to be one of the primary selections for school leavers.

“Secondly, we want to partner with industry players, to work as a team in developing TVET further,” he said.

FMM president Datuk Soh Thian Lai who is also the committee’s technical chairman said the participation of TVET students in the industry would increase, as the education method moves from “train and place” to “place and train.”

Currently, the number of TVET graduates working in the industry is below 200,000. This, he said will address the low remuneration issue, which is allegedly at the minimum wage line.

“With this formula, 70% of the students’ time will be spent with a company. By the time they graduate, the potential of employment would be much higher as they are already familiar with the company’s values and culture.

“With the previous method, companies may reject the graduates, but now as they are being trained by the industry themselves, these would be the talents they want. We believe this will also increase the remuneration,” Soh said.

Soh added that the idea was one of the seven strategies outlined by the committee after holding meetings among the stakeholders, since its formation in August.

Meanwhile, Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran said with this progress, the attitude of employers would change.

“It is unfortunate that most of the employers are paying minimum wages. This attitude must be changed because now we are giving a skilled workforce to you,” he said.

The 11th Malaysia Plan sets the target of 60% of jobs requiring technical and vocational skills, where 35% of the total to come from TVET programmes.

Previously, Kulasegaran said with the slow enrolment rate, that target might fail as TVET graduates supplied to the industry only stood at 30% to date.