INCHEON: Korean polytechnics are looking forward to work with Malaysia to further develop technical and vocational education and training (TVET).
Korea Polytechnics Education and Training Bureau director-general Cho Sung Hwan said they were ready to help establish TVET schools in Malaysia or develop the system in line with the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0), among others.
“We hope that we can offer more assistance to your country,” he told the New Straits Times during a visit to the Korean Polytechnics Incheon campus here.
The visit was part of a one-day internship programme under the 2019 Kwanhun-KPF Press Fellowship in Seoul.
The NST had been selected to represent Malaysia in the month-long fellowship this year.
Journalists from Brunei, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Mongolia, the Philippines and Vietnam also participated in the programme.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had often stressed that TVET must be a top national priority.
He had also said that TVET was a game changer in the government’s efforts to produce a more highly-skilled local workforce.
Elaborating, Korean Polytechnics Industrial Partnership Department director/professor Ahn Jongbok said: “We are always ready to help Malaysia”.
He said they organised annual international technology volunteer programmes where their students would visit Malaysian colleges to share Korea’s technical skills.
He added that they were also looking into developing language exchange programmes between the two countries.
“It is good if we can be of help to your country to further develop TVET,” he added.
Meanwhile, Cho said to change the perception that TVET was associated with “low pay and dirty work”, the Korean polytechnics had been focusing more on IR4.0 compared to fundamental industries like they did in the 1960s.
In the past five decades, Korean polytechnics have trained over 66,000 students, promising an 85.8 per cent employment rate upon graduation.
They have 35 campuses throughout South Korea along with a high school and two training centres.
Besides Malaysia, it also has a network with other Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia.
It has also worked with France, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Pusat Bertauliah (PB) di Selangor berdaftar dgn Jabatan Pembangunan Kemahiran (JPK) untuk dijual:
a) Harga RM 2X0,000 (Jual semua termasuk WIM, peralatan & PP/PPD) – Pendaftaran Perbadanan Tabung Pembangunan Kemahiran (PTPK) sehingga 2020 – Peruntukan Kuota Dana TVET PTPK Tahun 2019 (Jumlah nilai RM 300k) bagi 50 quota Kursus Computer Networking dan Corporate Secretaryship (2&3) Kemudahan – 3 classrooms, 1 computer lab with 25 computers, Computer repair room, library, pantry, staff room and surau.
b) Harga RM 1X0,000 (Jual semua termasuk WIM, peralatan & PP/PPD) – Pendaftaran Perbadanan Tabung Pembangunan Kemahiran (PTPK) sehingga Dis 2020 – Pendaftaran JPK sehingga Julai 2021 – Lesen KDN tamat Sept 2018 – Peruntukan Kuota Dana TVET PTPK Tahun 2019 bagi 25 quota setiap Tahap Kursus Kecantikan (2&3)
Pusat Bertauliah (PB) di KL berdaftar dgn Jabatan Pembangunan Kemahiran (JPK) untuk dijual:
a) Harga RM X,000,000 (Jual semua termasuk WIM, peralatan & PP/PPD) – Pendaftaran JPK & Perbadanan Tabung Pembangunan Kemahiran (PTPK) sehingga 2019/2020 – Peruntukan Kuota Dana TVET PTPK Tahun 2019 (25 kuota untuk hampir setiap Tahap, 4 program) – Lesen KDN tamat Jan 2017 Kursus Penyediaan Makanan (2,34) , Pengurusan Pejabat (2,34) , F&B (2,34) dan Komputer Sistem (3&4)
b) Harga RM X0,000 (cuma lesen & WIM shj, tiada premis & PP/PPD) – Pendaftaran JPK sehingga Nov 2020 Kursus Pengurusan Pejabat (2&3) & Setiausaha Korporat (3&4)
3. Pusat Bertauliah (PB) di Perak berdaftar dgn Jabatan Pembangunan Kemahiran (JPK) untuk dijual:
a) Harga RM X0,000 (cuma lesen & WIM shj, tiada premis & PP/PPD) – Pendaftaran JPK sehingga Okt 2022 Kursus Artis Multimedia – Visual (2 shj)
Ada juga lesen IPTS untuk dijual.
Sila hubungi/whatsapp 012-3123430 untuk pertanyaan lanjut.
The Perak state government launched its Perak Technical Education and Vocational Training (TVET) Initiative today, to empower and produce a more skilled workforce in the face of increasingly competitive industry challenges.
Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu said the council drafted the initiative with the cooperation of government departments and agencies, industry players and training providers.
“I will announce details on the initiative during the tabling of the Perak Budget,” he told a press conference after launching the Tvet initiative and witnessing the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Pusat Aspirasi Anak Perak (Pasak) and Perak Eclat TVET (Pet) in Ipoh, yesterday.
Earlier, Ahmad Faizal in his speech said Pasak as the implementing agency under the State Youth and Sports Development Committee, was responsible for moving the plan forward in collaboration with Pet, a professional body that would coordinate the Tvet programme.
The initiatives include creating an ecosystem to empower technically inclined students, from secondary school to higher education and right up to professional level.
“It has been the state government’s intention to streamline Tvet in developing skilled, competitive and highly marketable human capital on par with graduates in countries which have invested in Tvet in their human capital development agenda.
“The initiative will also focus on involvement of industry players in identifying and structuring plans to resolve the offer and demand issue which had long been a factor in the increase in unemployment in the state in particular, and Malaysia in general,” he said.
After the recent announcement of Malaysia’s Budget 2020, Dato’ Noor Farida Mohd Ariffin, Chairman, Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) has thanked the Federal Government for the budget allocation of RM50 million to the Fund.
“This allocation will empower the Fund to continue its mandate to catalyse the development of a competent local workforce, contributing to the Government’s aspiration to drive growth and equitable outcomes towards shared prosperity,” she said.
She has provided details on how HRDF plans to fulfil this mandate. “With an allocated budget of RM30 million for TVET, the Fund aims to reduce the country’s unemployment rate which currently stands at 3.3%.”
As such, HRDF will continue to collaborate with the Ministry of Human Resources, industry players and employers to provide TVET training programmes catered to employ 3,000 youths from low-income households.
The targeted B40 youths will be trained in courses with fast employability rate such as escalator and elevator service and maintenance; housekeeping operation; retail operation; commercial driver training and certification programme; and professional certificate in logistics and supply chain operations.
The Fund will also match the Government’s allocation of RM20 million with an additional RM20 million towards upskilling a further 4,000 Malaysians through professional certification examinations related to IR4.0.
These certifications are aligned to the main pillars of IR4.0, such as internet of things; cybersecurity; big data; and cloud computing. For these, the Fund will collaborate with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).
She added: “With the 2020 budget allocation by the Government to the Fund, it will continue its role in supporting the nation’s human capital development towards reducing skills and economic gaps; promote the employability and mobility of Malaysian talent; and encourage job creation and inclusivity for prosperity.”
KUALA BERANG – Mereka pernah gagal dalam Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), namun atas usaha dan kegigihan bangkit daripada kegagalan, mereka kini bergaji lebih RM20,000 sebulan.
Malah, lebih membanggakan, ada antara mereka kini mampu membuka perniagaan sendiri dan mewujudkan peluang pekerjaan, selain mampu membeli aset secara tunai dan menghantar ahli keluarga mengerjakan haji dan umrah berkali-kali.
Itu sebahagian kisah dikongsikan tiga Ikon TVET (Latihan Teknikal dan Vokasional) Pembinaan kelahiran Akademi Binaan Malaysia (ABM) Wilayah Timur, di sini yang kini boleh tersenyum dengan kejayaan mereka dalam kerjaya.
Muhammad Faizal Ismail, 35; Mohamad Badiuzaman Ya Abu Bakar, 34; dan Muhammad Qamarul Auji Amran, 32, yang juga bekas pelatih ABM diangkat sebagai Ikon TVET atas kejayaan mereka dalam bidang kemahiran masing-masing pada majlis pelancaran Jelajah TVET Pembinaan Edisi Terengganu oleh Menteri Kerja Raya, Baru Bian, di sini, semalam.
Muhammad Qamarul Auji, dari Kuala Terengganu berkata, kemahirannya dalam bidang perpaipan (jururegah) hasil kursus diikuti di ABM bukan sahaja memberinya peluang memperoleh gaji lumayan, tetapi juga belayar ke seluruh pelosok dunia, selain kini mampu membuka perniagaan sendiri.
“Saya pernah bekerja di Arab Saudi dengan gaji bulanan terakhir RM12,000 sebelum berhenti kerja untuk membuka perniagaan sendiri dalam bidang sama.
“Alhamdulillah dengan apa yang saya miliki, saya mampu membuka peluang pekerjaan dalam bidang perpaipan untuk pelatih TVET lain dan kini syarikat saya sudah mempunyai tiga cawangan iaitu di Kuala Lumpur, Sabah dan Terengganu dengan jumlah kakitangan dan pekerja seramai 80 orang,” katanya ketika ditemui.
Beliau yang sudah berkahwin berkata, dia pernah putus asa dan tidak nampak jalan untuk meneruskan hidup sebelum bertemu peluang menjalani kursus perpaipan di ABM pada 2006.
“Saya bersyukur kerana dapat menggembirakan ibu bapa yang sebelum ini kecewa dengan saya kerana gagal dalam SPM dan tidak dapat melanjutkan pengajian ke universiti seperti ramai rakan lain,” katanya.
Sementara itu, Muhammad Faizal, dari Kuala Terengganu, berkata, kematian bapa pada 2004 memberi tamparan buatnya selepas sekian lama leka dengan kehidupan yang hanya bergantung pada keluarga, selepas gagal menghabiskan persekolahan kerana tidak minat belajar.
“Sebelum kematian bapa, saya hanya meminta wang daripadanya untuk menampung hidup, saya langsung tidak fikir mahu bekerja, sehinggalah bapa meninggal, saya hilang arah.
“Ketika itu terbit rasa kesal dan rasa mahu mengubah hidup serta mahu berbakti pada keluarga terutama ibu, Aishah Mamat, 67, lalu saya mula bekerja membaiki kereta di bengkel milik seorang rakan.
“Kemudian ada rakan mencadangkan saya untuk mengikuti kursus kimpalan di ABM selama dua bulan dan sebaik tamat kursus, bermulalah kehidupan baru buat saya apabila berjaya mendapat pekerjaan bagus di syarikat swasta dengan gaji lumayan,” katanya yang kini bekerja sebagai jurukimpal syarikat minyak dan gas (O&G) di Arab Saudi dengan gaji RM18,000 sebulan.
Dia sebelum ini pernah memperoleh gaji RM27,000 sebulan ketika bekerja dengan syarikat O&G di Miri, Sarawak pada 2016 dan bersyukur kerana dapat membeli kenderaan secara tunai, membaik pulih kediaman keluarganya, membantu kewangan keluarga, selain menghantar ahli keluarga termasuk ibu menunaikan haji dan umrah beberapa kali.
Manakala Mohamad Badiuzaman dari Kemaman berkata, beliau banyak bermain ketika zaman sekolah menyebabkannya gagal dalam SPM dan rasa kesal menyebabkannya sedar untuk mengubah nasib diri dan keluarga.
“Kegagalan lalu membuatkan saya mahu bangkit dan tidak terus leka. Alhamdulillah sekarang saya memperoleh gaji RM18,000 sebulan dan dapat membantu keluarga, selain berpeluang ke banyak negara untuk bekerja termasuk China, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Amerika Syarikat dan Dubai,” katanya yang sudah berkahwin.
Increase TVET certificate holders from 79,200 to 144,000, which will result in 40% of the 360,000 students per annum.
Transform unskilled labour contribution of the labour force into skilled labour contribution of the labour force by reducing the current unskilled labour from 225,600 i.e. 62.8% of all students per annum to 36,000 i.e. 10% of all students per annum.
Create opportunities for students and adult learners to acquire skills, knowledge and values for employability and lifelong learning.
Develop and continuously revise training standards, skillstraining and the certification system.
1. Rebrand TVET to be an attractive learning choice by producing a dedicated brand guideline.
2. Enhance the quality of programmes to improve graduate and foreign employability, by enabling industry professionals to lead curriculum development.
3. Implement 0% Corporate tax and 0% VAT on TVET education. Corporate tax and VAT rates to be guaranteed for the next 25 years to aid building private TVET universities.
4. Introduce new TVET courses after evaluating those available in India, Germany and Malaysia to match job market demand.
5. Build a fully equipped TVET Centre in each district, with qualified lecturers for all NVQ certification levels, to increase TVET certificate holders from 79,200 to 144,000 which will result in 40% of the total 360,000 students per annum.
6. Upgrade existing technical education centres in collaboration with world-class institutions.
7. Introduce short courses in the TVET curriculum based on 4 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours, 20 hours, one day, one week and one month.
8. Introduce additional TVET courses in logistics stream catering to the job market demand.
9. Increase the number of TVET courses available for women.
a. Courses in office management, computer operator, programming assistant, tour and travel assistant, etc.
b. In addition, introduce short courses (1 to 2 weeks) in hair care, facials, nail art and sewing garments.
10. Introduce ‘Train the Trainer’ courses for TVET instructors to enhance their skills.
11. Ensure availability of free online language courses to all citizens.
12. Implement an online skill assessment portal for individuals to assess their current skill levels and to identify areas for improvement.
13. Implement a job bank where unemployed citizens are geo-tagged and directed to jobs matching their skills. This would also monitor new students until they have been employed.
14. Initiate a dedicated plan on district-wise job creation.
a. Tourism related jobs. Training courses for tour guides, retail, homestay operations, beach club operations, bartenders, waiters and receptionists, etc.
b. Hotel sector job creation through online hospitality courses.
c. Training videos for homestay hotel operators.
d. Nursing training courses.
e. Provide funds to conduct courses on handloom, traditional crafts and handicrafts, etc.
15. Launch a dedicated website for TVET students with information on:
a. Technical colleges available in the area.
b. Courses available based on location.
c. Career guidance.
d. Job availability in the area.
e. Video-based TVET course learning.
f. Video-based personal and soft-skill development with grooming tips.
16. Increase intake of students in nursing colleges.
Source: Based on Sri Lankan’s business leader Dhammika Perera’s recently revealed ‘Economic Growth Strategy and Action Plan to increase GDP Per Capita from $ 4,000 to $ 12,000’
A recent news article citing a list of programmes to be dropped at public universities has raised concern among many quarters.
Students currently pursuing courses involved and their parents were particularly anxious about the status of the said programmes that will no longer be offered by public universities in the country.
Higher Education director-general Datin Paduka Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir was quoted as saying that the department has asked all universities to identify and reshape their academic programmes to enhance students’ job opportunities and be in line with industry needs.
The idea behind the move is essentially to revise strategically and systematically what are currently offered at universities to keep abreast with change and market developments or risk stagnation.
Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) chief executive officer Dr Nurmazilah Mahzan.
As one of the industry voices — Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) chief executive officer Dr Nurmazilah Mahzan ― puts it: “If universities offer courses that are not in demand by industry, there will be a mismatch between demand and supply of labour; this in turn could affect graduate employability and, ultimately, overall economic and social sustainability and wellbeing.”
She said courses offered at universities should be periodically reviewed, revised or improved where possible to produce marketable graduates who can contribute to business, economic and social development.
So how are public universities reacting to this directive and how are they going about the selection process?
Curriculum review and reassessing of programme offerings are the norm among public universities, said spokespersons approached by Higher ED.
Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) vice-chancellor Professor Dr Noor Azizi Ismail pointed out that the process started in 2017 when a team of professors were assigned to study the relevancy of programmes offered by local higher education institutions (HEIs).
“At universities, we have a Board of Studies which sits down before any programmes are offered and we are required to review all programmes every three to five years. But now because things change so fast, I would recommend a review be done every three years,” he said.
Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) vice-chancellor Professor Dr Noor Azizi Ismail.
At UMK, Noor Azizi said the engagement and involvement of the industry in the development and updating of programmes is key, apart from data from various analyses.
All decisions have to go through the Senate, Board of Directors, the Malaysia Qualification Agencies (MQA), Industry Advisory Panels (IAP) and the Education Ministry.
“Relevance in the context of past, current and future scenario, particularly in the context of IR4.0, are looked at. Data such as demand for the programmes, graduate employability (GE), future demands, national interest and so forth, as well as input from various agencies/industries are also taken into consideration,” he said.
As a result of the discussions carried out by UMK, for example, low value programmes that are important for nation-building such as history and heritage were suggested to be combined with other programmes such as history with law, and heritage with information technology (IT).
“Programmes with low GE such as very specialised science programmes like maths can be combined with economics and physics with computer science to make them more applied and relevant.
“Even Islamic programmes are embedded with science and technology such as biotech to make graduates ready for the halal industry. Based on the findings, we are taking the necessary action,” he said.
Engagement with industry leaders is crucial for the development of university programmes. Seen here is Tony Fernandes, chief executive officer of Air Asia Group at an executive talk held in Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin. – NSTP/Ghazali Kori
Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) deputy vice-chancellor (Academic & International) Professor Dr Noor Azuan Abu Osman said when any curriculum review is done, apart from benchmarking with similar top programmes, market survey, report from industry as external reviewer, needs of stakeholders and the current requirements in the related field are the compulsory parameters set by the Department of Higher Education (JPT).
“From the analyses, we will decide either to change the programme to industry mode as regulated by JPT, to fully overhaul the curriculum, or to hold its offer for the next intake of students. The decision is made by the Senate of UMT, upon thorough evaluation by MQA before it is endorsed by JPT,” he said.
Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), meanwhile, stated that it takes a number of factors into consideration in addressing or identifying whether a course (or a set of courses) is irrelevant to current industry needs.
“The decision to cease the offering of a programme is not taken lightly and various factors are considered. One example of this exercise is with the development of the Academic Program Competitive Index (IDSPA), a mechanism to measure the relevance and sustainability of an academic programme,” said UiTM deputy vice-chancellor (Academic and International) Professor Dr Mohamad Kamal Harun.
Among the parameters measured by IDSPA are graduate employability, the popularity of the programmes, student enrolment, trends and needs of the programme(s) and the demand of the programmes based on data of the national and global workforce.
UiTM deputy vice-chancellor (Academic and International) Professor Dr Mohamad Kamal Harun.
Mohamad Kamal said the index indicates the possibility of whether a programme needs to be rebranded or cease to be offered. The justification for a programme to be deemed irrelevant is carefully negotiated and reviewed.
The deleted programmes at UiTM may be rebranded, replaced or combined with new relevant programmes, said Mohamad Kamal.
“The need to enhance the programmes is a priority in ensuring that the programme and its graduates remain relevant to the industry and society. The university is also moving towards the re-designing of academic programmes by creating programmes that are transdisciplinary or hybrid in nature. This is a strategy that is most relevant to current industrial trends and global needs.
Meanwhile, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) deputy vice-chancellor (Academic and International) Professor Dr M. Iqbal Saripan said that having a couple of programmes dropped from a university is not “a big thing”.
“Universities, especially public universities, must be dynamic and we are responding to the needs of the industry and global shift. The decision to drop any programme is based on the study of the current market needs and indicators such as the popularity of the programmes and the graduate employability, as well as the sustainability of the programmes,” he said.
In the case of UPM dropping two programmes ― Bachelor of Education (Primary School Education and Master in Water Management ― the decision was made last year due to the low number of enrolment for Primary School Education studies. There are no students currently enrolled.
For water management, the decision is to phase it out totally.
The right programmes need to be offered to ensure graduate employability. -NSTP/Danial Saad
“The bachelor’s degree was a one-off programme and not sustainable to keep. We offer the Master of Water Engineering to cater to students interested to study water-related courses,” he said.
He assured that students currently enrolled in programmes that are being phased out will not have their qualifications affected as the qualifications are accredited by MQA.
“The degree will still be recognised,” he said.
The same goes for students of Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP), as in other public universities, said its vice-chancellor Professor Dr R. Badlishah Ahmad.
“The decision to drop a programme is not an easy one. Once a programme is dropped, current students still have to complete the whole programme and will graduate. The university will not force students to change their programmes,” he said.
IN THE PIPELINE
According to Universiti Malaya (UM) deputy vice-chancellor (Academic and International) Professor Dr Kamila Ghazali, rather than discussing which programmes will cease to be offered, it would be more productive to talk about the effective new programmes in the revamp.
“We are currently in the process of ensuring that every UM graduate will be technologically-savvy and equipped with various life skills from personal financial literacy to analytics and even artificial intelligence. We call this new initiative Student Holistic Empowerment.
“In this initiative, students will choose courses, as part of their electives, from four subject clusters ― Thinking Matters: Mind & Intellect; Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Intelligence: Heart, Body & Soul; Technology/Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics: i-Techie; and Global Issues and Community Sustainability: Making the World a Better Place.
“This change is timely and will ensure that every graduate of UM is the best that any employer can find. This is our responsibility to our students,” she said.
She emphasised that the Student Holistic Empowerment subject clusters offered with every undergraduate programme will make every programme offered starting in 2020 essentially a new and improved one.
At UMT, programmes are being consolidated into lesser number of new programmes with more generic names according to the National Education Code (NEC), but with higher number of specialisation of study area that give students more options to choose from.
“The new programmes that we have in the pipeline are Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering Technology (Naval Architecture), Bachelor of Maritime Operation Management, Bachelor of Nanophysics, Bachelor of Data Analytics, Master in Tropical Biodiversity and Master in Tropical Marine Environment,” said Noor Azuan.
At UiTM, there are a number of new programmes in the pipeline ― Bachelor of Science (Hons) Eco-Technology and Bachelor of Creative Motion Design (Hons), and Diploma in Digital Audio Production, to name a few.
“The programmes are very much designed to be hybrid in nature, industry-based and relevant to the demands of IR4.0 and beyond,” said Mohamad Kamal.
UMK is set to offer two new programmes ― Bachelor of Accounting and a Bachelor of IT.
Noor Azizi said while there are similar courses, UMK’s differentiation this time is the designing and content of the courses are done together with close industry input and involvement and are meant to cater to real industry needs.
The programmes in the pipeline are Bachelor of Technology in Automotive with Honours; Bachelor of Technology in Welding with Honours; Bachelor of Technology in Industrial Machining with Honours; and Bachelor of Technology in Building Construction with Honours.
“These programmes are crucial to facilitate students from vocational certification as opposed to Matriculation and STPM qualifications. As MoE has highlighted that UniMAP should offer programmes to cater for vocational and skilled qualification students, therefore, sufficient B.Tech programmes are crucial to be offered by all MTUN universities,” said R. Badlishah.
Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) ― another MTUN university ― in a statement to Higher ED said new programmes that are in the pipeline include Bachelor of Technology in the Internet of Things (IOT), Telecommunication (focusing on 5G technology), Cloud Computing and E-Sports. The new programmes are jointly developed with industry leaders in the respective field.
To get insights into what the industry needs and demands, Nurmazilah said it is vital for universities to engage with industry and also professional and regulatory bodies for inputs, updates and direction.
As technology is a key disruptive force, it is vital that academics and universities embrace technology via engagement and advocacy.
“For example, in the context of accounting, while the basics of accounting such as manual double entries form the initial technical foundation, it is equally important that graduates be exposed to critical thinking and analysis as well as IT-related skills such as data analytics.
“Graduates would then be able to use these skills in the workplace to corroborate data and derive conclusions based on their organisation’s financial data and results.
“In addition, graduates must also be trained to understand and interpret accounting standards as they are principle based in nature.
“This requires good command of language as accountants have to be versatile on the application of accounting standards and not merely memorise the standards without proper understanding and thought processes,” she said.
Another example she gave relates to an organisation’s financial ratios.
“In the past, students were tasked with computing or crunching the numbers, rather than the interpretation of financial results which is a higher value-added skill.
“For graduates to be relevant in a world inundated with data which can be crunched by machines, they have to be trained to understand and interpret the results using tools such as analytics.
“This will enable them to provide the necessary value-added analysis and advisory in their organisations, making them relevant and indispensable,” she said.
Ganesh Kumar Bangah, chairman of the National Tech Association of Malaysia, said the main challenge that the IT industry often faces is not being able to find a candidate who fits into the technical roles they look for.
National Tech Association of Malaysia chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah.
“There is often a mismatch between what we need and what the public university produces in their graduates. Their learning syllabus does not fit the requirements of today or tomorrow. This leads to the industry having to source for talents from private universities that have adopted a more current or up-to-date programmes for students,” he said.
One of the immediate areas that can be addressed is for public universities to take part in industry projects, and include representatives of the industry to co-teach the students. Universities can also opt to partner MNCs or any of the tech companies like some private colleges are already doing.
“While we understand the constraints of universities on policies etc, these policies need to change to accommodate the needs of today’s demands. Even the government is now moving into Industry Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0), the graduates will need to prepare themselves well.
“They can only do this if they get the right programmes, skills and training from the universities to become employable. Not only should students be academically ready but their social skills should also be improved, which covers their ability to speak and converse with people, be socially-inclined and can converse confidentially on various topics, too,” he concluded.
Helping skilled workers secure certification will boost their chances of getting a better salary throughout their career.
Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said youths working in the technical and vocational field should not worry about their starting pay as it would be reviewed over time and upon the confirmation of their job.
“The rate of review can be between RM100 and RM500, usually after six months.”
“Malaysia practises a seniority-based wage system with yearly increment. Some developed countries adopted a rate for job payscale. They are paid based on their skills, regardless of seniority,” Shamsuddin said.
He said in Malaysia, employees had honed their skills through work exposure and experience, but even after 15 to 20 years of service, they did not get themselves certified, hence their stagnant wages.
He said this would open workers to exploitation by companies.
“Getting certification would be beneficial for them if they want to quit their job and work at another company.”
“However, there are now electronic fuel injection engines, hybrid cars and electric cars in the market.”
Because of this, he said, institutions needed to upgrade their equipment and teaching methods by working with the private sector.
He added that in the long run, there was a need to look at the whole situation and advocate a skills-based service system, where the skills that employees had would be evaluated by encouraging them to get a certification.
“Their employees’ pay should be based on their skill-level on top of observing the minimum wage,” he said.
Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers chief executive officer Dr Yeoh Oon Tean said it was important that TVET students enrolled for courses that led to a recognised certification of their skills and offered them a pathway to upgrade themselves in terms of wages and standard of living.
He said the issue faced by employers was a lack of coordination between TVET institutions and industry on industrial needs.
“A wide variation in (education) standards may lead to the continuity of poor public perception of TVET education.
There is a need for a streamlined qualification system that ensures a minimum standard is met and strengthens the confidence of employers and TVET students.”
He said initiatives taken by the TVET Empowerment Cabinet Committee were a positive way to address issues.
Among the initiatives include the establishment of a coordinating and enforcement agency to address the issue of fragmentation of TVET implementation, which cuts across ministries.
“The agency would ensure standardisation of training and qualifications, quality assurance, qualification portability, recognition of prior learning and greater cost effectiveness in the use of resources. It should uplift the status of TVET graduates as skilled craftsman to promote it.”
He said other initiatives could ensure greater industry collaborations in TVET by strengthening public-private partnerships to improve employability and produce industry-ready graduates.
“Industries need to engage in more apprenticeship, internship and work-based learning programmes to prepare students for the working environment. It needs to start early to prevent skills mismatch.”
Yeoh said as long as there was no uniformity in standards and quality, the industry could not be forced to follow a wage guide, which would be determined by the highest level of standards and quality of a qualification.
He said there was a need to address the public’s opinion of the TVET field being less prestigious than a professional qualification.
The ways to do this, Yeoh said, included introducing TVET into the school curriculum as early as primary level; promoting it as a mainstream education rather than for less academically-inclined students, and having trainers with industrial and operational experience.
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — In relation to the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed had outlined that there would be an emphasis on skills development as well as technical and vocational education and training (TVET).
The Malaysian Institute of Economic Research’s (MIER) chairman Tan Sri Kamal Salih in concurring with Dr Mahathir said the future called for workers with knowledge and skills and this meant there has to be flexibility in our education system.
“We really want to go forward, the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 requires skills more than general education.
He cited the German dual education system, which Malaysia could benchmark against, where one could be a university student and work in the industry for a while, come back, and complete one’s degree.
“So you gain experience, you know the business world, you know the world of work, even before you graduate, therefore you can direct your reading, and your studies, to learn on what you like, learn from what you do in the industry, during your training,” he said.
He also pointed out Malaysian students’ lack of proficiency in English has been quite critical.
Kamal said other than English, being able to think, talk and communicate is critical especially in industry 4.0 that requires a lot of technology.
“You need to have knowledge. Future work is knowledge-intensive, the 3D jobs — difficult, dangerous, dirty jobs — will eventually be taken over by robots, either in air or in water, or in surface, to detonate bombs, they can fly and sprint, spray the fields and so on, maybe even one day catch fish,” he said.
He said human skills were needed for cognitive thinking, designing, rearranging, executing things and making decisions as well as communication and substance.
“If there is good communication, they’re on the internet, and the coverage is up to the rural areas, women can work from home, and if the home is in a rural area, women don’t have to come to the office, they can look after the children,” he said pointing out women need not drop out of employment to take care of their families.
Kamal Salih said one could work any time because the real-world economy is 24 hours, it’s on the internet. — Bernama
Comment: Many may not be aware that there’s already pathway for non SPM credit holders but with working experience, still can pursue higher education. I’m referring to the genuine local public or local universities (MQA approved programs), not those dubious or outright fake overseas online degrees.
Very soon, there will be a bridging program that caters specifically to TVET graduates with SKM & DKM to obtain a professional diploma or executive degree (minimum 20 years and above) to an IPTS in Klang Valley. Stay tune to this website for further updates or you may email to tvetuni [at] gmail.com with the following info:
1. Name 2. Contact 3. Address 4. SKM/DKM in which program & what level