KUCHING: Malaysia needs to enrol more students for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in stages, said Malaysia Education Service Commission chairman Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof.
He said he would like to see the number of students increase from 175,000 in 2017 to 231,000 in 2020, which is about 24.2 per cent, to meet the needs as under the 11th Malaysia plan, 60 per cent of 1.5 million jobs created require TVET.
He added that this is necessary to face the wave of Industrial Revolution 4.0 which has started globally.
“Ironically, we are still deficient in this aspect as 80 per cent of the workforce here has SPM qualification and only 25 per cent are highly skilled. Thus, under the 11th Malaysia Plan, the government targets to increase the highly skilled manpower to 35 per cent by 2020,” he said at the second session of the Politeknik Kuching 27th graduation at the campus yesterday.
He added that TVET will give opportunity to students to further their studies in skills field up to university level and this will contribute towards the government’s goal of making Malaysia a high income and developed country.
He said Politeknik Malaysia has been recognised as a skills education institution that can give SPM school leavers better career opportunities.
Meanwhile, Politeknik Kuching director Jamaliah Ahmad said that Politeknik Kuching graduates have high marketability, which is on the rise annually.
“In 2017 it was 92.1 per cent, then it was 97.2 per cent and 97.9 per cent last year. Few of the graduates also decided to further their studies in universities locally and abroad.”
People used to have the perception that graduates produced by polytechnics and community colleges are fit for blue collar jobs like working as labourers, with low salaries.
This perception is not true, she said, as with the Industrial Revolution 4.0, polytechnic graduates are able to use the knowledge they gained in the industries.
She noted that the enrolment for female students is almost equal to male students, showing that TVET opportunities are not just limited to one gender.
She added that this year, 9,171 school leavers applied to enter Politeknik Kuching but the institution could only offer places to 1,080 students.
“This indicates that youths and parents have come to realise that TVET is very important, in line with the government’s effort to make TVET a mainstream education,” she said.
The graduation ceremony continues today with two sessions.