Zahid conferred honorary doctorate from Shibaura Institute of Technology

TOKYO: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic) has been conferred with an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering from the Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT), in recognition of his contribution to strengthening Malaysia-Japan technical education cooperation.

The award follows the continuous efforts of Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Rural and Regional Development Minister, to ensure that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) continues to serve as a platform for improving students' skills, as well as strengthening industrial cooperation between the two countries.

The award was presented by SIT president Prof Dr Jun Yamada to Ahmad Zahid on Monday (Feb 19).

Ahmad Zahid is also the chairman of the National TVET Council Committee at the institute.

In his speech, Ahmad Zahid, who is on a seven-day working visit to Japan, starting last Friday, said that the recognition will enable him and the entire team under the National TVET Council to work harder to make Malaysia's TVET programme and ecosystem more competitive and of higher quality.

"I also believe that this recognition, at the international level, is important as a basis for guaranteeing that TVET is no longer a second-class choice, but instead makes it the main career choice, and guarantees a premium and lucrative salary, thus changing the public's perception in dignifying TVET in Malaysia," he said.

Earlier on Monday, Ahmad Zahid received the letter of appointment as the president of the Organisation for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement (OISCA) for the Malaysia Branch, which is an international organisation focusing on the promotion of international cooperation in various fields.

Ahmad Zahid received his appointment letter from OISCA International president Nakano Etsuko, at the National Diet Building here.

OISCA International recognises the industrial apprenticeship programme in Japan by awarding Malaysian students a diploma in industrial training after they complete the learning programme.

This will provide opportunities for Malaysian youth to gain valuable experience, as well as increase their employability and market value.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid said that OISCA, in the meeting, agreed to provide a place for the industrial internship training programme, and also become a career path platform for graduates who are interested in working with more than 5,000 OISCA industry partners in Japan.

"The City of Yokohama also provides the Yokohama internship and job placement programme, to open up opportunities for TVET graduates in Malaysia to build careers, not only in the country, but also at the global level. These efforts will be summarised to be part of the efforts to develop the National TVET Policy, scheduled for launch in June 2024,” he said.

Malaysia currently has 1,345 TVET institutions, with a 92.5 per cent employability rate for TVET graduates. The framework will serve as a guideline for TVET programmes nationwide, and then be adapted to meet industry needs.

He said that the policy will also be formulated to increase the marketability and competitiveness of labour, in addition to laying the foundation for sustainable economic growth and national prosperity.

Ahmad Zahid added that, following Monday's meeting, he has instructed the University of Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) to rebrand and empower the Malaysia-Japan Institute (MJI) under UniKL, and further become the main leader in TVET empowerment in the country, especially with stakeholders in Japan.

"The Malaysia-Japan TVET collaboration will also be strengthened, with the involvement of the Malaysian Technical University Network (MTUN) in producing the best human capital offering in this field,” he said.

Also accompanying Ahmad Zahid on the working visit to Japan were Minister of Higher Education, Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir; Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) chairman, Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki; and senior officials from relevant ministries and agencies, as well as representatives of institutions of higher learning. - Bernama

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