KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians should shed the mindset that labour-intensive jobs such as welding and plumbing would not guarantee youths a good future, says Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran.
He said that those working in such fields who upskill themselves through the existing Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses offered nationwide are not only guaranteed employment but also a high-level pay even in countries such as Singapore.
Kulasegaran said parents should change the mindset that labour-intensive work would not guarantee the future of their children, and that TVET courses are only for those who are academically weak.
“Those who take up TVET courses have a 94% chance of gaining proper employment.
“Do not think that welders or plumbers cannot earn as much or more than graduates if they are equipped with the right qualifications from TVET,” he said yesterday.
He said there is 25% vacancy in TVET courses nationwide despite TVET having highly-qualified instructors and teaching staff. This, he added, is due to the mindset of Malaysians that TVET is for those who cannot do well academically.
He also said the most popular course seems to be aircraft maintenance, which has limited places.
He also pointed out that the government is introducing more incentives for workers who want to enrol in TVET courses, including opening up more night classes as well as working with private employers to encourage their workers to take up upskilling courses.
Kulasegaran was speaking to the media at a session in KL Sentral to announce the TVET forum titled “Human capital development to enhance future skills agenda” to be held on July 8 and 9 in Putrajaya.
The forum, to be opened by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, will serve as the platform for stakeholders in TVET to discuss its direction in the country.
At the same event, Kulasegaran unveiled the icon of TVET - celebrity Yusry Abdul Halim of KRU Akademi.
Yusry, a ex-singer of KRU and an expert in animation special effects, will help the ministry promote TVET courses among the young.
“I’m not being paid anything. Gone are the days when one set of skills is all you need to have a lifelong career,” said Yusry.
Kulasegaran said that the ministry will be appointing icons from all states and from all levels of society to promote TVET.
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