More than just skills

Mohd Razali (fourth left) with Mac (third right) while representatives from the four TVET institutions look on. — AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

TRAIN technical and vocational students to be equipped with qualities beyond skills alone.

Machinery & Engineering Industries Federation (MEIF) president Mac Ngan Boon urged Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions to focus on training students in management and leadership.

“The nation is too dependent on foreign workers; our TVET students should instead be managers,”‌ he said after a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) with MEIF and four TVET institutions.

The institutions are Kedah Industrial Skills and Management Development Centre, German-Malaysian Institute (GMI), Negri Sembilan Skills Development Centre and Selangor Human Resource Development Centre.

“Malaysia does not have many workers who are in the skills industries.

“There is a shortage of Malaysians as supervisors, floor managers and those who are able to lead the production. We want more people in these areas rather than just being skilled workers.

“We hope this MoU will pave a way to develop students with these set of qualities,”‌ he said, adding that there are programmes planned in the MoU that the institutions can undertake.

These programmes, he said, will constantly be updated during the duration of the MoU.

The direction of industries and institutions have been growing in different directions over the last decade, Mac said, adding that while institutions focus on skills and curriculum, industry needs must be recognised as well.

“The MoU will see these TVET institutions collaborating with industries to recognise the latter’s needs and train their students and lecturers towards a direction that will fit with the different industry.”‌

MPC director-general Datuk Mohd Razali Hussain said the objectives of the MoU include strengthening, promoting and assisting each other towards addressing technical skill gaps and boosting the upskilling of the Malaysian workforce.

“Through MEIF, an effective public-private partnership will prosper where the industry can share their resources such as machinery and technical expertise to enhance local talent.

“This will assist TVET institutions to align themselves to the latest skills and curriculum,”‌ he said, adding that the MoU is a two-year collaboration.

There is a breakdown in communication between the industry and institutions, Mohd Razali said.

“We hope matters will be more organised via the MoU,”‌ he said.

On the outcome of being part of the MoU, GMI chief administrator Prof Datuk Dr Abdul Hakim Juri hopes that the graduates will be able to contribute effectively in increasing productivity among the workforce.

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