Zahid: PH has not approached us

Future planning: Ahmad Zahid chairing the National TVET Council meeting in Putrajaya. — Bernama

PUTRAJAYA: Pakatan Harapan has not approached Umno to discuss whether its former members are free to join parties in the coalition, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“As of now, there has not been any discussion with me on this matter,” said the Umno president.

He was asked if Pakatan chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had approached leaders of Umno about former Umno members joining parties that are under the coalition.

On Monday, Anwar said the matter would be discussed with Umno leaders out of respect for Umno, which is part of the unity government.

He had said that Pakatan was aware that there were some ex-Umno members who expressed their wish to join the coalition.

Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin, a former member of Umno’s supreme council, has said he wants to join Amanah. Amanah is a component party of Pakatan, along with PKR, DAP and Upko.

After more than two decades as political nemeses, Umno and PKR are now part of the current administration. Their cooperation came about when no political party obtained a simple majority in the 15th General Election.

On another matter, Ahmad Zahid, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, said the National TVET Council had identified future industries that can offer training to ensure students’ employability.

Artificial intelligence, as well as sectors and areas related to the 4.0 and 6G industrial revolutions, are among the industries.

“By identifying these industries and working with private corporations, we hope to put in place the appropriate training module. This will ensure workers required by the industries will have the right knowledge and skill set,” he said after chairing the National TVET Council meeting.

Ahmad Zahid said the meeting also noted the “overlap” of institutes providing similar TVET training courses.

To resolve this, centres where the students’ employability rate is lower than 50% will be required to change and provide students with training that can enhance their employability.

“While TVET is important to meet current and future market demands, the courses provided must not only be cost-effective but also have a high employability rate,” he said.

There are now 1,295 centres providing TVET skills training and courses, with the government allocating millions of ringgit annually for this purpose.

Ahmad Zahid said a memorandum of agreement would be inked between private corporations and TVET institutes for the purpose of providing students with the skills and knowledge required by companies.

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