STARTING off as a community project in some shoplots in Old Klang Road back in 1990, Kojadi Institute now has come of age.
Currently known as VTAR Institute after a rebranding and transformation exercise, it is setting its sights on taking in more students and offering more diversified vocational courses to benefit school leavers and youths.
MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the rebranding of the institute marked an important milestone for MCA and the Chinese community.
He said beyond a name change, the efforts also signified MCA’s push towards the transformation of its vocational education arm in line with Malaysia’s transformation and the demands of the global economy.
“It is truly a proud moment for our community as we witness the rebranding and transformation of VTAR Institute.
“This completes the cycle in our quest to provide affordable and quality education from childhood to university level,” he said, citing other educational institutions set up by MCA namely Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (Taruc) and Institute of Childhood Education Studies and Community Education.
Liow was speaking during the recent launch of the rebranding ceremony in Taruc campus in Setapak and the presentation of the National Dual Training System (SLDN) training centre certification by the Human Resources Ministry.
VTAR will occupy a four-storey building within the campus and its students will enjoy facilities such as a swimming pool, gymnasium and basketball court, among others.
Accompanying Liow at the function were MCA vice-presidents Datuk Lee Chee Leong, Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung and Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, MCA Youth chief Senator Chong Sin Woon and state MCA leaders Datuk Seri Dr Lim Chin Fui, Datuk Hoh Khai Mun, Datuk Koh Chin Han and Datuk Ng Fook Heng.
Also present were Skills Development Department director-general Datuk Dr Pang Chau Leong, Taruc president Datuk Dr Tan Chik Heok, VTAR chairman Tan Sri Kuan Peng Soon, VTAR chief executive officer Tan Cheng Liang and other dignitaries.
Liow also said that it was timely to rebrand and transform VTAR to help train and produce a more innovative and skilled workforce to meet industry demands.
“To meet this demand, 50,000 additional places in vocational education needs to be created each year.
“VTAR is poised to capitalise on the opportunity provided by this gap,” he said, adding that MCA was confident VTAR could achieve this as it has the commitment, capabilities and capacity.
Liow added that VTAR was in the process of establishing collaborations with several industrial associations such as furniture, and small-and-medium enter-prises.
He said captains of industry were also very keen on VTAR graduates to help fill the talent gap and transform their production model.
Citing an example, Liow said one of VTAR’s innovative electronics students produced a prototype robot and 3D printer and saw a company offering him a job even before he graduated.
“I was told this happens often at our institutions where private firms are keen to hire our graduates. This is something to be proud of and should be maintained in future,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hoh, who is also a director of VTAR, said the institute will continue to re-engineer itself to be relevant to the needs of students and the employment market.
Currently, VTAR focuses primarily on skills programmes that have good employment and income potential, he added.
“Through existing and new courses as well as foreign collaborations, VTAR hopes to assist school-leavers and youths to lead a rewarding career,” he said.
In her speech, Tan said it was Liow’s vision to assist school dropouts as statistics showed that about 30% were from the Chinese community. She said Liow wanted them to be provided with skills training so that they too could contribute to nation-building.
“MCA has always emphasised the importance of education,” she added.
Courses offered at VTAR now included electrical installation and maintenance, beauty therapy, hairdressing and bakery, while courses on automotive and wireman as well as diploma in electronics will start next year.
VTAR is open for registration in January, June and October every year. The institute is located in Taman Bunga Raya, Off Jalan Malinja, Kuala Lumpur (via Gate 4 of Taruc campus). For more information, call 03-4149 8211.
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