KUALA LUMPUR: The country’s progress is likely to be hindered if it neglects technical and vocational training (TVET), says Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran.
He said such skills are just as important now as they were in the early years after Merdeka.“The first TVET institution in Kuala Lumpur was built in 1962, which shows how important it was towards building a new country.
“But along the way the system changed to give more prominence to academic (studies),” he said.
However, TVET has regained its importance as developed countries like Germany and Japan have put more emphasis on them, Kulasegaran said.
He said both countries have implemented a dual system, where students spend about 70% of their time on training and about 30% on learning experience.
“TVET has also become a preferred choice in India as students know they are guaranteed a job after they leave school,” he added.
He said Malaysia also has plans to improve on its own TVET syllabus by expanding it to include computer-related subjects.
Kulasegaran was representing Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail at the launch of the “Road To World Skills Competition (WSC) Kazan Gold 2019”.Kulasegaran also read out Dr Wan Azizah’s speech.
She said participating in an international competition such as the WSC Kazan 2019 would also help elevate TVET and produce more highly-skilled Malaysian talents.
“TVET plays a significant role in the county’s progress towards becoming a developed nation. A robust economy depends on a knowledgeable and highly-skilled workforce,” she said.
Malaysia will be represented by 20 participants at the competition, each coached by an expert to show off their talents in various fields, including baking, cabinet making, jewellery design, electrical installation, brick laying, cloud computing, mechanical engineering, refrigeration and air conditioning.
Malaysia’s prior achievement in the biennial competition organised by WorldSkills International include winning two bronze medals and nine Medallions for Excellence at WSC Abu Dhabi 2017.
WorldSkills is an organisation aimed at empowering communities through vocational skills.
Separately, Kulasegaran said the revival of the East Coast Rail Link will be a boon to the local job market as many opportunities are bound to emerge.