TVET grads to get boost as govt pushing for RM3,000 minimum wage, says Zahid

KUALA LUMPUR: Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) graduates should earn a minimum wage of RM3,000 or there would not be takers should the minimum wage be the same as non-skilled workers, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The Rural and Regional Development Minister also said that the TVET secretariat, which was formerly under the purview of the Higher Education Ministry, has now been moved under the purview of the office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Stating that there will be a China-Malaysia Institute focused on TVET by next year in Johor, Ahmad Zahid also said the TVET secretariat under him is currently in the midst of drafting the National TVET Policies - to be launched next February, after Cabinet approval.

Ahmad Zahid said this after handing over the letters of appointment to the members of the Advisory Council of the National Association of Skilled Workers (PKPB) at Parliament here Thursday (Nov 9).

He also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the Programme of Malaysia-China Youth TVET Training between PKPB and Tang International Education, the coordinator of TVET institutes in China.

“There are 12 ministries involved in TVET with an annual expenditure of RM6.8bil. However, what is the output of such a big bill and with 144 TVET institutes nationwide?

“At present, Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) is the only TVET university where TVET graduates could transfer credit and further their studies to the postgraduate level.

“There is a need to make TVET qualifications accepted globally akin to white collar job qualifications. TVET must not remain as the second or last choice of youths.

“With Malaysia expecting billions of foreign direct investments, there would be 3.4 mil job opportunities. Of this, 70% will be of the type needing TVET qualifications. Malaysia needs to prepare for this demand. If we do not prepare workers with the right TVET qualifications, we will be on the losing end,” Ahmad Zahid said.

He further stated that the academic pursuit should be continued but the career path of those who pursue TVET qualifications are bright and promising.

“Empirical studies have shown that an SPM graduate who goes on to take his degree and then pursues postgraduate studies, upon his return from overseas gets hired for a RM2,750 job.

“However, an SPM graduate who goes on to pursue TVET courses, after being in the field for 10 years, can get job offers up to RM17,000. There are many more such cases. Failure to perform academically should not be seen as the end,” said Ahmad Zahid.

He also pointed out that the government would urge private employers to ensure that the minimum wage of TVET graduates is increased to RM3,000.

“The national minimum wage is currently RM1,500 for all workers. Who would want to pursue TVET skill qualifications if they were to graduate and earn the same as the non-skilled workers?,” said Ahmad Zahid.

Later, he told the media that he would not be pushing for the minimum wage of TVET graduates via the Malaysian Employers’ Federation, but through memorandums of understanding with employers themselves who are willing to offer a higher minimum wage.

“Some German companies in Malaysia have accepted this for the TVET graduates. We can do the same with other private companies.

“There is no need for us to bring this to Parliament as companies would profit more when hiring TVET-skilled workers as they promise better productivity. We do not need to deal with MEF but the government can deal with private employers on its own,” said Ahmad Zahid.

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Ahmad Zahid Hamidi , TVET , Graduates , Minimum Wage , MOU


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