Mah: TVET upskilling needed to draw investors

Paying close attention: Dr Mah flanked by Tan and Soon on a tour of VTAR Institute which is running the PE 4 Wireman programme, aimed at tackling the shortage of skilled workers in Malaysia. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Only 16% of Malaysia’s total workforce are skilled workers compared to most developed countries, where skilled workers make up about 54% of their total, says Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon.

The MCA deputy president said this is a worry as investors may find it difficult to carry out their operations here due to the lack of skilled Malaysian workers.

“PW 4 electricians in particular are in high demand as they are key to ensuring the facilities of major industries are running well.

“As such, this new TVET programme will be vital in upskilling electricians in the country to keep up with rising labour demands as our country shifts from an industrial-based economy to a knowledge-based one.

“It will also help to promote the practice of lifelong learning among the people,” he said in his speech at the launch of the new Wireman PW 4 training programme at the VTAR Institute campus here yesterday.

Also present at the launch were Energy Commission (EC) deputy director (electric competency unit) Azalina Hassan, VTAR chief executive officer Tan Cheng Liang and chairman of the VTAR board of directors Soon Mon Huay.

Dr Mah commended the VTAR Institute for introducing its Wireman PW 4 training programme in its efforts to tackle the shortage of skilled workers in Malaysia.

The programme will include new skills such as three-phase wiring installations, which are typically used to power large commercial and industrial facilities.

Tan said students under the programme, which has been approved by the Energy Commission, will undergo 12 months of training, including lessons at the VTAR Institute and two practical tests in a model house for three months.

They will then undergo six months of industrial training under the watch of an electrical contractor certified by the Energy Commission.

Students will return to classes for three months and take their final tests before graduating from the course.

The first batch of students began their classes in January this year.

Tan added that loans, scholarships and sponsorships from industry players will also be available for students to apply for.

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