5,000 Malaysian students to benefit from TVET programmes in China, says Zahid

Photo: Bernama

BEIJING: More than 5,000 Malaysian students will be sent to China for short-term to long-term courses in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Dubbed a "game changer" for Malaysian TVET, the Deputy Prime Minister said such opportunities would provide Malaysian students with high-tech equipment skills and foster a promising career path in TVET, including better salaries.

“220 Chinese companies are offering 5,125 places for Malaysian students in TVET.

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“They will receive training in China through the Malaysia-China Youth TVET Training Program's Finishing School approach, with all expenses covered.

"These collaborations focus on various advanced courses, particularly in the automotive sector, emphasising electric vehicles (EV), renewable energy vehicles (REV), robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI),” he told the press here on Wednesday night (May 29).

He said the initiative stems from a collaboration between the National Organisation of Skilled Workers (Belia Mahir) and China's TVET sector, mainly through Beifang Automotive Education Group and Tang (M) International Education Group.

Ahmad Zahid had earlier witnessed the signing of an MOU between Malaysia and 114 Chinese firms to affirm the collaboration and facilitate TVET training for Malaysian students at the Beifang International Education Center in Daxing.

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Also present were Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Mohamad Alamin, Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) chairman Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, GiatMara chairman Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir, Belia Mahir secretary-general and head of skilled youth Mohammad Rizan Hassan, Beifang International Education president Cao Zhenfeng and Tang International Education Group president Li Jinsong.

Ahmad Zahid, also the National TVET Council chairman, said the training quota includes 500 places for Malaysian Chinese students and 200 places each for Indian students, as well as those from Sabah and Sarawak.

“Graduates will later be absorbed to work at these Chinese companies that have invested in TVET in Malaysia, enhancing their employability and immediate job market readiness.

“In addition to the 2,000 positions provided by Beifang Automotive, we secured 3,125 more places following our recent discussions, totalling 5,125 opportunities for our students.

“These courses are worth some RM30mil, sponsored by Chinese firms. Our site will cover flight tickets and an introductory Chinese language course provided by the Malaysia-China Institute (MCI).

“The courses would be rolled out in phases through 2025,” he said.

He also expressed thanks to Beifang for their commitment to send training equipment, including six units of EV and hydrogen cars, to GiatMara to facilitate the practical learning process of repairing EV and REV cars, along with the free training provided to underprivileged students and instructors from Malaysian TVET institutions.

Ahmad Zahid noted that Malaysia’s emerging development in TVET talents is a way forward for premium salaries for TVET graduates.

"With the emerging development of TVET skills, we are poised to offer premium salaries to TVET graduates. The demand for skilled labour is high, and achieving a premium salary is feasible with the requisite skills.

"This is a proactive and straightforward process. I hope Malaysian students will seize the opportunity to further their studies," he said.

When asked about this, Ahmad Zahid said the graduates' qualifications are recognised by the newly unified accreditation body comprising the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and the Skills Development Department for TVET courses.

"Previously, the National TVET Council has approved a single accreditation body that will do the recognition, either at the certificate or diploma level," he said.

Between May 29 last year and May 28 this year, he said 850 Malaysian talents had undergone skill enhancement training in China in fields such as EV, AI, industrial automation, and railway maintenance.

“China's exemplary practices in TVET serve as a benchmark for Malaysia.

“We aim to focus on industry partnerships, practical training and relevant curriculum development, utilising modern and advanced training facilities to prepare our workforce for future challenges.

“I hope all parties in Malaysia and China will fully support the MCI and subsequently become partners of the Malaysian government in our efforts to strengthen Malaysia-China diplomatic relations through TVET,” he added.

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