PUTRAJAYA, July 9 (Bernama) — A strong cooperation between the industry and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions is significantly important to ensure that there will be a matching supply and demand to enable local TVET institutions to offer high technology industry courses based on industry requirements.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government believed that the cooperation would create a new breed of specialist workforce in learning the latest technology that has a spillover effect that would be able to boost economic growth and development of technology in other sectors such as agriculture, construction, health and services.
“The government believes the agenda to empower TVET with the cooperation from the industry players should be the national TVET strategic goals.
“A smart partnership between the industry and TVET institutions will help in the production of quality products and more efficient services,” he said in his keynote address at the TVET Convention here today.
To achieve that, Dr Mahathir called on more industry players to play a more active role in developing the country’s human capital and supporting the national TVET policy, especially by recognising the skills of TVET graduates and sharing their expertise with them.
Dr Mahathir said TVET programmes which involved a joint venture between public TVET institution and multinational company and based on industry needs and requirements, had proven successful with almost 90 per cent of the graduates being able to secure jobs upon graduation.
“That is why public and private TVET industry players should get out of their comfort zones and find more effective solutions.
“One of the approaches is definitely through inter-stakeholder collaboration, especially with the industry,” he said.
The prime minister said TVET would be the game-changer in the government’s efforts to produce highly-skilled local workforce, hence reducing dependency on foreign workers.
He said the government would also strive to enhance Malaysian youth capability in TVET to enable the demands of the high-tech industry to be met by the local workforce.
“This will inadvertently change the labour market landscape in the country as it is now the priority of the government to ensure the creation of more high-skill jobs with higher salaries.
“It is also in line with our efforts to lure high-quality investments to the country,” he said.
In this era of the fourth industrial revolution, Dr Mahathir also called on TVET industry players to make optimum use of Industry Forward, which is the national policy on Industry 4.0 from 2018-2025, in enhancing their capabilities and competitiveness.
He said the future job market will be filled with highly skilled, creative and critical thinking workforce with the job descriptions and scopes expected to undergo significant changes.
“Future workers should equip themselves with the latest skills set based on the future requirements of the industry,” he said.
Meanwhile, Human Resources Minister M. Kula Segaran, who also attended the convention, said the percentage of skilled workers in the country still stood at 28 per cent of the total workforce.
He said if Malaysia wanted to be on par with developed countries like Germany where skilled workers made up 50 per cent of the total workforce, the government had to be constantly aggressive in drawing up upskilling dan reskilling programmes for the next five years.
“The ministry targets an increase in the number of participants in the trainings conducted for local workers under the upskilling dan reskilling programmes to 1.2 million, hence raising the percentage of high-skilled workers in the country,” he added.
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