SEGAMAT: Students have been urged to consider the textile and apparel-manufacturing course offered at Tunku Abdul Rahman Colleges Johor campus to help meet demand for skilled workforce in the industry.
State Tourism and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek said the course, offered only at the colleges Johor campus, had received a lukewarm response with only 40 students taking it up since its introduction in 2001.
He said there should be more demand for the course as Johor was the most important textile and apparel-manufacturing hub in Malaysia with about 600 factories.
Last year, total exports of textiles and apparel was RM11bil and Johor accounted for half of that revenue.
There is a perception that it is a sunset industry but this is untrue as it has potential for growth, he told reporters after launching the TAR College Johor campus convocation ceremony yesterday.
Dr Chua, who is also Johor MCA chairman, said the only problems the industry faced were manpower shortage, lack of skilled workers and labour costs.
He urged the private sector, especially factories, to work hand in hand with the college in providing facilities such as scholarships and practical training opportunities for students.
After the students' graduation, they could use their skills and knowledge to work efficiently for factories and continue upgrading and mastering new skills, he said.
In his speech earlier, Dr Chua advised the graduands to continue seeking knowledge and not be complacent or they would otherwise be left behind in todays progressive world.
Society, he added, expected them to be responsible, vigorous and adaptable to change.
A total of 652 students received their diplomas and certificates at the ceremony.
The campus started operations in May 1998.
To date, it has produced more than 2,000 graduates, many of whom have gone on to further their studies at advanced diploma and degree levels at the TAR College main campus in Kuala Lumpur or at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman.
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