PUTRAJAYA: Public perception towards technical and vocational graduates among the public and employers has improved, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said.
He said more Malaysians appreciate the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) .
“The marketability of graduates from National Youth Skills Institute (IKBN) is at 92%, compared to 83% in 2013 when we first started the IKBN transformation programme.
“This is due to the ministry’s strategic relationship with the industry. We have tailored our curriculum to fit the needs of the industry.
“Employers are more confident with IKBN and other TVET institutions, and the starting pay of graduates has risen by 10%.
“I hope this trend continues. In order to create a high income and high technology economy, we cannot just rely on academic education. This is why the government is empowering TVET,” Khairy told a press conference after launching the 13th Youth and Sports Skills Training Institutions (ILKBS) convocation here.
Khairy said although employers were impressed with TVET graduates, there was a need to improve their soft skills.
“Many employers are satisfied with the technical skills of our graduates. However, areas like communication, particularly the mastery of English, needs to be improved.”
The ministry’s IKBN 20:50 programme is to ensure that by 2020, 50% of the courses at the institution will be taught in English.
“In some courses, it is vital for the graduates to know English.
“For example, if you are pursuing a career in the automotive industry and are hired at an international company like Mercedes Benz. It would be a big problem if you cannot understand English.
“Or if you studied hospitality, you would not be able to work in a five-star Kuala Lumpur hotel if you cannot communicate in English,” he said.
A total 6,226 ILKBS graduates received their certificates and diplomas at the convocation.
The graduates are from the National Youth Skills Higher Institute, IKBN, Youth Golf Skills Academy and the National Youth Skills College.