Archive for the ‘Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)’ Category

TVET a viable choice for building great future careers

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

A group of happy students after obtaining their excellent results of Certificate of Education Malaysia (SPM) 2019. Photo: Bernama

SPM graduates should know how TVET can increase their employability and help them on a path to professional achievement

The most recent crop of graduating students from the 2019 SPM exams, performing better than those of the previous year, with the national average grade (GPN) recorded at 4.86 for 2019, compared with 4.89 in 2018, shows that Malaysian students are excelling in terms of education and knowledge acquisition.

Currently, a total of 389,498 candidates who had sat for and passed their SPM 2019 exams are now beginning to determine their professional destiny, including careful planning on how and where to continue their studies.

Some universities and fields are now on their to-do list, with the goal of pursuing a successful career after graduation.

Many will encourage SPM postgraduate students to take Technical and Vocational Training and Education (TVET) as TVET can provide the foundational skills for a broad range of career choices in the job market in the future.

SPM postgraduates are also encouraged to take Technical and Vocational Training Education (TVET).

Students should not disregard TVET as an option because the skills acquired in the many disciplines in TVET offers and opens up many job opportunities, thus making them the hottest graduates in the market.

In line with the Government’s Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, TVET is one of the enabling forces that contributes to the development of a prosperous and inclusive nation.

Raising productivity levels

The German-Malaysian Institute (GMI) produces graduates with high marketability.

TVET educational institutions such as the German-Malaysian Institute (GMI) offer technical training that can produce graduates with high marketability.

The managing director of the German-Malaysian Institute (GMI), Prof Ir Dr Azmi Hassan, said that since its establishment in 1992, the institution has now introduced more than 10 TVET-related programs based on German technology, particularly in mechanical and electrical disciplines and fields.

“SPM graduates have many opportunities to continue their studies at GMI. To date, GMI has produced more than 12,000 graduates in these fields.

“GMI is also offering a preparatory program to help graduates further their studies at German universities. GMI has sent over 1,200 students through the program over the last 10 years.

“Hence, we offer an industry-relevant program called the German Dual Vocational Training (GDVT), in which we work with industry professionals, especially German companies in Malaysia,” he said in a recent interview with mStar.

Azmi said the concept of GDVT focuses on 70 per cent practical training in the industry and 30 per cent is theory learning at the institution.

In addition to the credibility of co-curriculars adapted from Germany, Azmi said the machinery and equipment provided at GMI are industry-appropriate.

“It makes it easier and faster for graduates to adapt to the professional environment. The industry does not need to retrain and graduates are ready to meet the industry’s expectations.

“Thus, they help companies increase productivity quickly. This is because delivery time is very important in the industry,”he said.

Azmi sees challenges in the growth and evolution of TVET but explains that there are optimum solutions for keeping the program relevant.

“We see from the current trend of GMI graduates and diplomas, that they subsequently opt to pursue higher education.

“Perhaps one of the reasons is that the number of technicians is relatively low in the industry. So the challenge is that if the pay is fair or has a better value, I think they will continue to enter the labour market.

“Therefore, I recommend that the payroll rate for technically-skilled graduates be increased. And if we are able to work closely with institutions and industry, it will be an opportunity for students to be in the industry early, ” he said.

Through the involvement of the local workforce, he said, this would reduce Malaysia’s dependence on foreign workers.

The managing director of the German-Malaysian Institute (GMI), Prof Ir Dr Azmi Hassan. Photo by ART CHEN/ The Star

Additionally, he explained that well-educated local students could face the challenges of Industrial Revolution 4.0 (Industry 4.0).

“Their skills will improve the technology and help the integration of new technologies in the industry, and productivity will increase rapidly,” he said.

Industry market demand and boosting the labour market

Meanwhile, the president of the Malaysia Automation Technology Association (MATA), Tiong Khe Hock, said the M&E field contributed greatly to the country’s economy, and is important to industry, especially the manufacturing sector.

“Malaysian companies are moving towards Industry 4.0, as they rely heavily on the support of machinery and equipment to reduce manpower,” he said, adding that the M&E field is among the nine major sub-sectors under the Nexus Productivity initiative mandated under the Government’s Malaysian Productivity Blueprint (MPB)

The talented young generation helps companies grow productivity faster.

On TVET, Tiong said there was a demand from industries, but there were difficulties in terms of skilled supply.

“Many MNCs are having difficulty filling some of their skilled positions involving machinery and equipment, such as technicians.

“With the initiative through Nexus Productivity, collaboration between government agencies and industry associations can be enhanced,” said Khe Hock, who also serves as the Working Group Leader: Talent and Labor in the Nexus Machinery and Equipment Productivity initiative.

According to him, the group is partnering with the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) to develop the Industrial Skills Framework for the M&E sub-sector.

The president of the Malaysia Automation Technology Association (MATA), Tiong Khe Hock. Photo by ART CHEN/ The Star

Meanwhile, Tiong said industry players had given feedback that because they have little choice but to train workers including university graduates, a pilot program would help industry players greatly with this challenging part of integrating graduates into their workforce.

“If we have trained and experienced pioneer graduates, the time for training will be reduced. This pilot program is where they study and work with companies at the same time.

“I see a lot of potential especially in the M&E industry that requires more workforce. Many skills are needed in dealing with Industry 4.0 such as mechatronic, automotive and robotics.

“I feel there is a great demand among young people to make this a career choice,” he said, as he is also serving as a member of the Executive Committee of the Machinery and Engineering Industries Federation (MEIF) which has a network of nearly 6,000 companies in the M&E industry.

There is a great demand among young people to turn their industry-ready skills into a successful career.

Although the cost of hiring foreign workers is lower, he said, companies need to recognise that productivity is a priority.

“If companies hire more skilled local workers, I think they can raise productivity and help boost the technically-skilled labour market.

“In fact, in terms of career development, we also see local workers have the opportunity to become engineers and managers in the future.

“With the passage of time, additional experience and education gives them many opportunities to grow to higher levels,” he said.

TVET: Highly skilled and industry ready

Friday, March 13th, 2020

Technical and vocational training and education (TVET) is a dedicated route to develop secondary school leavers into a highly skilled and future-ready workforce.

It is a misconception to think that TVET is only for the academically weak or those with low career prospects. In reality, TVET graduates have a high rate of employability that commands an attractive salary.

Based on the 11th Malaysia Plan, there is a target to increase skilled workers from 28 per cent to 35 per cent, and 60 per cent of future jobs are expected to require technical and vocational skills.

With options from marine engineering to hospitality and beauty services, students can earn the Malaysian Skills Certification System through assessment and training.

The system starts with the Malaysian Skills Certificate (Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia or SKM Levels 1 to 3), followed by the Diploma in Skills Malaysia (Diploma Kemahiran Malaysia, or DKM) and Advanced Diploma in Skills Malaysia (DLKM).

Students can pursue professional licences, international competency examinations or obtain a bachelor’s degree at four universities under the Malaysian Technical University Network (MTUN).

TVET programmes are offered by the Education Ministry, Youth and Sports Ministry and Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara).

Students can apply via the Central University Admission Unit to enrol in polytechnics and community colleges.

There are three types of polytechnics, namely premier (a route to degree), conventional (based on regional and national needs) and METro (services industry).

The new Malaysian Polytechnic Diploma Curriculum equips students with vital competencies to meet local and global demand.

Industry 4.0-related tools, namely cybersecurity, additive manufacturing, augmented reality, the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous robotics, system integration, cloud-computing and data analytics are introduced in the engineering, technology, hospitality and business courses.

The Youth and Sports Ministry offers TVET programmes at its 22 National Youth Skills Institutes (IKBN) and National Advanced Youth Vocational Institutes nationwide.

Vocational training officer Muhd Mahzuz ‘Afif Mahayuddin said: “Based on the National Policy on Industry 4.0, the country requires more independent and highly-skilled workers, who will increase the nation’s productivity.”

The programmes include aircraft maintenance, automotive technology and textile technology, which run between 18 and 36 months.

“Perseverance and continuous upskilling can take you to higher professional levels, such as being certified by the Malaysia Board of Technologists,” said Mahzuz, who is attached to IKBN Pekan in Pahang.

Mara offers certificate and diploma programmes in 12 clusters of its Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi Mara (KKTM), Mara-Japan Industrial Institute and Mara Skills Institutes.

To continue to a degree, students can enrol in Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) — Mara’s entrepreneurial technical university.

Besides government institutes, there are also private and industry-led TVET programmes, such as the Auto Global Manufacturing Skill Programme (AGMSP) by New Hoong Fatt Holdings Bhd.

NHF managing director Chin Jit Sin said: “It is a fully sponsored apprenticeship programme, preparing students with theoretical learning and technical experience for entry into the Malaysian Meister Programme (MMP) or to become a manufacturing specialist.”


TVET graduates have good career opportunities locally and abroad.

Having excelled in his aircraft composite repair certificate (SKM Level 3) at IKBN Pekan, Anwar Mohamad, 21, is working as a junior aircraft technician at a multinational company.

“Since I’m more inclined towards technical skills than academics, my parents encouraged me to enter IKBN.

“This course is great for those interested in the aviation industry as I was trained in aircraft repair, air legislation and flight theories.

“After the internship, I was hired as a staff member. Soon after, I was given the opportunity to attend an Airbus A350 radome repair course at the Airbus Training Centre in Blagnac, Toulouse, France, for 10 days.”

Muhammad Shabil Ikhwan Shahar, 26, completed SKM Level 3 in gas pipeline fabrication at IKBN Pekan before becoming a non-destructive testing (NDT) specialist

In reality, TVET graduates have a high rate of employability that commands an attractive salary. -NSTP/File pic

“I chose this programme because of the worldwide career prospect. The course introduced me to advanced NDT technologies, preparing me for the industry.”

Funded by his company, he obtained his professional licences at the Institute of Mechanical Engineering in Sheffield, the United Kingdom.

“I attained the Personnel Certification in NDT (PCN) Level 2 in phased array ultrasonic testing, full ultrasonic testing and penetrant testing.”

Sabah Tourism Management diploma student Shawn Esquerra, 19, applied to enter Polytechnic Tawau due to his interest in tourism.

“The polytechnic provides me with training and knowledge in the real industry.

“I’m sure that I’m on the right path to gain the right skills to build a career in tourism.

“After obtaining my diploma, I hope to pursue my degree in the same field and study abroad.”

MMP in mechatronics for manufacturing student Muhammad Raziq Ahmad Mukromin, 22, said: “While the programme has academic components, it is focused on technical skills. I learnt about programmable logic controller automation, electrical motor control and many more high technology subjects. I also gained soft skills in communication and teamwork.

“Through AGMSP and MMP, I can earn a salary while increasing my knowledge and technical abilities.

“I see it as an opportunity to continue my studies and directly put it into practice. It also lifted the burden of supporting me from my parents’ shoulders.”

Wan Shamimi Wan Ismail, 23, completed a diploma in architecture at KKTM Pasir Mas, Kelantan, before pursuing a degree at UniKL.

“The diploma programme focused on academic theories and exposed us to hands-on skills, such as drawing and technical work. Mara also helps students financially with a monthly allowance.”

By Rayyan Rafidi.

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More TVET opportunities with YSD skill programme

Wednesday, January 29th, 2020
A group picture of bursary recipients under the skill enrichment programme.

YAYASAN Sime Darby aims to create more Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) opportunities for youths through a new initiative called the YSD Skill Enrichment Programme.

In line with the national aspiration to equip youths with employable skills that meet labour market demands, the programme is set to benefit 400 youths annually as compared to 35 under YSD’s previous annual allocation for TVET bursaries — with focus on assisting those from underprivileged and marginalised backgrounds.

YSD chairman Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar said the programme will see the organisation working with four strategic partners: the Department of Polytechnic and Community College Education under the Ministry of Education (MOE), Sime Darby Industrial Academy, Ramsay Sime Darby Healthcare College, and KRU Academy.

“This is to provide more scholars with technical skills and assist with job placements upon the completion of their training courses,” he said in his welcoming address at the launch of the programme held in Kuala Lumpur last week.

Through YSD’s collaborations with its TVET partners, the fields of vocational study opportunities offered under the programme are broadened to support more Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and creative arts courses.

Tunku Imran added that it was reported that currently, almost 90 per cent of TVET graduates have been able to get a job after graduation. With the support of the foundation’s TVET partners, YSD intends to push the number higher.

The event also saw YSD hosting its annual Scholarship Award Ceremony with the foundation awarding over RM21 million worth of various scholarships and bursaries to 584 deserving individuals, a majority of which are from underprivileged households.

Among others, 264 vocationally inclined students received a total of RM6.61 million for the skill enrichment category to pursue diploma in engineering, diploma in architecture, diploma in quantity surveying, professional certificate in 3D animation, diploma in nursing and medical assistant under MOE’s Polytechnic and Community College Department, KRU Academy, Sime Darby Industrial Aacademy and Ramsay Sime Darby Healthcare College.

Under YSD Special Needs Bursary Programme (undergraduate and diploma bursaries for persons with disabilities), 29 recipients received more than RM1.04 million.

The YSD Special Support Bursary programme (undergraduate and diploma bursaries for students with monthly household income of RM4,000 and below) saw 216 recipients with bursaries worth RM7.56 million.

39 students with outstanding academic achievement and strong leadership qualities were awarded excellence scholarships worth RM4.75 million to pursue pre-university, undergraduate and postgraduate studies at universities in Malaysia, United Kingdom and China.

YSD also celebrated individuals with compelling stories who have weathered many challenges to beat the odds. Among them was TVET scholar Muhammad Afiq Aminuddin, who was awarded the YSD Role Model Award 2020.

Afiq, 29, who hailed from a single-parent B40 household in Penang completed his Certificate in Heavy Equipment from Sime Darby Industrial Academy in 2011. He worked at Sime Darby Industrial – Tractors Malaysia as a mechanic and electrician in heavy equipment maintenance and is now an accomplished field mechanic for Baker Hughes, an international energy technology company.

Muhammad Firdaus Abu Hassan, 29, the recipient of YSD Inspirational Award 2020, has proven that success is not beyond reach despite disability and poverty. Being completely blind since the age of 14, he remained ambitious and tenacious in chasing his goals.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology & Sociology, and then a Master of Professional Counselling, both with flying colours. His life story was documented and analysed in a postgraduate study to understand the development of resilience in the underprivileged.

Education has been the main thrust of YSD since its inception in 1982 to offer wisdom, expertise and assistance at all levels of education to promote and advance what people believe they can achieve, especially the underprivileged.

By Rozana Sani.

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TVET big data on the way

Monday, December 23rd, 2019

A TECHNICAL and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) big data system is being planned.

All eight ministries in the national-level TVET Empowerment Committee will be involved in developing the database that will include information on industry demands. This will allow for job projections and the identification of critical fields that need attention.

Also known as JKKPTVET by its Malay acronym, the committee is headed by Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik to strengthen and promote TVET on par with other professional fields.

JKKPTVET was established following the approval of Cabinet on Aug 14 and comprises the Human Resources Ministry, Youth and Sports Ministry, Works Ministry, Rural Development Ministry, Entrepreneur Development Ministry, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry and Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry.

On Nov 26, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking was appointed to represent the ministry in the committee.

TVET promotion campaigns that include logo design competitions, a search for influencers and recognition for TVET VIPs are being carried out, the Education Ministry said in a statement on Nov 27.

TVET Expos and industry dialogues have also been organised, attracting close to 5,000 participants.

Maszlee said initiatives by the committee would determine the country’s future. By ensuring flawless implementation, the success of the Malaysian TVET system can be an example to other countries, he said.

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Vocational offerings for jobs of the future

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019
Australia Education Minister Dan Tehan (fourth from left) with Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Andrew Goledzinowski (third from left) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) vice-chancellor Professor Dr Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor (fifth from left) at the UKM Global Talk Series at the university in Bangi. – NSTP/Saifullizan Tamadi

AUSTRALIA aims to provide study opportunities across many fields that includes mainstreaming vocational education skills at higher education level, said Dan Tehan in his keynote address at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) during his official visit to Malaysia recently.

Titled “Working together for success in international education”, his address was delivered at the UKM’s 12th Global Talk Series.

Tehan said: “We are looking into enabling students to move between the two education systems because jobs of the future will require multiple skills.

“Jobs of the 21st century don’t only call for the ones you learn in higher education but in some instances, you also need vocational skills and vice versa.

“So, we have to make sure that our higher education system and vocational education system will give you those offerings.”

With the industrial and business changes happening in Industry 4.0, Tehan said that there has been a shift in the desired skill set.

“We need students who have flexibility in their skills and a jack-of-all-trades approach to adapt to the changing circumstances that the fluid global economy will present globally.

“We still need specialists but we don’t want everyone to be a specialist. There is a need for graduates who have a broader set of skills.”

According to Tehan, Australia has conducted a review of its national qualification framework in which the ability to earn tertiary credits in secondary school is an interesting development in the framework.

“Through secondary education, students will be able to start getting units for their higher education and vocational education.

“Rather than having a secondary schooling system that is distinct from your tertiary education, we want to ensure a seamless flow between our secondary education and tertiary education system.”

Australia Education Minister Dan Tehan speaks to reporters during an interview in Kuala Lumpur. – NSTP/Nurul Shafina Jemenon.

A challenge that Australia is facing is to ensure that it continues to produce students that can fill the skills gap, said Tehan.

“For us, those gaps include providing workers for our disability sector, child care sector and aged care sector.

“In the technology field, we make sure that we have STEM students who can then work in areas like cyber-security or information technology,” he said, adding that Malaysia is also facing similar issues.

Australia is exploring different types of education providers to reduce the skill shortage.

“We are looking into public and private universities, national institutions or institutions that just work with particular communities to deliver the type of skills that students will need to work in the local economy.”

Australia will also continue upholding universities’ autonomy, he added.

“To ensure that our universities have the freedom of speech and freedom of academic inquiry, our former Chief Justice has put some model codes in place.

“We want universities to be places where people can inquire about any subject matter and freely express their ideas. Their ideas can be developed into research that will benefit not only the nation, but the globe.

“Another key component is getting industries and businesses to work more collaboratively with our higher education providers. I know that UKM also continues to explore this.”

The event was attended by Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Andrew Goledzinowski, UKM vice-chancellor Professor Dr Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor, UKM deputy vice-chancellor (Academic and International Affairs) Professor Datuk Dr Mohd Marzuki Mustafa, UKM staff, students and the public.

By Rayyan Rafidi.

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Education Ministry links up with O&G firms for TVET

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik (centre) with (from left) EEW Malaysia chief executive officer Thorsten Petermann, Dynac Group chief executive officer Md Jasman Bongkek, Polytechnic and Community College Education Department JPPK managing director Dr Mohammad Naim Yaakub, Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Berhad managing director and chief executive Wan Mashitah Wan Abdullah Sani and Brooke Dockyard and Engineering Works Corporation Kuala Lumpur operations head Tajul Ariff Abdullah Halim Kamil. -NSTP/Luqman Hakim Zubir.

The Education Ministry recently formed a strategic partnership with four industry players in the oil and gas (O&G) sector to empower the nation’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

Witnessed by Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik, a certificate of collaboration (CoC) was inked between the ministry, represented by the Polytechnic and Community College Education Department (JPPK), and four firms, namely Dynac Group, EEW Malaysia, Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Bhd and Brooke Dockyard and Engineering Works Corp.

The collaboration will see an expansion in job opportunities and accessibility for polytechnic and community colleges’ students and graduates.

Maszlee said the formation of the TVET O&G industry cluster as the first focus group served as a new milestone in efforts to strengthen TVET.

“It has been seven months since the cabinet launched the TVET Empowerment Cabinet Committee. We have since conducted consultations, round table discussions, workshops and dialogues.

“By grouping businesses into focus groups, we hope to better address issues specific to the industries, achieve greater efficiency and draft better synergy in our initiatives.

“We believe that TVET should be led by the industry, not the other way around. Today, we are going to make the oil and gas sector more attractive to graduates, especially from families in the Bottom 40 per cent group. With a better career, they can change the entire landscape of their community.”

To succeed, Maszlee said, having a clear focus was critical, especially as TVET moved towards adopting an industry-led and industry-certified framework.

He added that the ministry persistently seeks for industry participation not only in industrial training and work collaborations, but in curriculum development and education policy-making as well.

“If the accountancy profession has ACCA, CIMA and MICPA, I hope that today’s TVET O&G cluster will lead to a similarly dedicated group that strives to make education and training in the industry world-class and forward thinking.

“This is the first step in the long and arduous journey to revolutionise the way our society learns and accumulates new knowledge, skills and experience. This is also why TVET is known as future skills, a testament of the need to adapt and change as the world does,” said Maszlee.

JPPK managing director Dr Mohammad Naim Yaakub said the partnership signals numerous benefits for the polytechnic students and staff alike.

“A large number of our students especially from the petroleum and chemical engineering courses are having their internship placements with them. Our teaching staff can also undergo attachments to learn about the latest technologies and processes in O&G.

“Apart from that, experienced engineers will be invited to our polytechnics to share about their technologies and business models.”

Mohammad Naim added that this collaboration is in line with the government’s aim of having 35 per cent high-skilled workforce by next year.

“We are on track and moving towards the target. Our progress depends on the economic situation especially our domestic direct investments and foreign direct investments, as well as the types of skill structure they bring in.

“We hope that the small and medium enterprises (SME) in Malaysia will be more capital-intensive in high-technology content and be less dependent on foreign labour.

“TVET is currently following the Industry 4.0 masterplan developed by the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI). We hope that industries can go along this line for us to have a more skilled workforce,” said Mohammad Naim.

By Rayyan Rafidi.

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First TVET cluster focuses on oil and gas sector

Sunday, December 8th, 2019

Maszlee says he hopes more oil and gas companies will step forward and be part of this cluster.

TECHNICAL and vocational education training (TVET) students are shying away from the oil and gas (O&G) industry.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said although there are many TVET graduates working in the industry, the numbers should be higher.

“It’s unfortunate there are not many takers from our (TVET) students,” he said before witnessing the certificate of cooperation signing ceremony between the Education Ministry’s polytechnic education and community college department (JPPKK) and four O&G industry partners in Putrajaya.

He said he hoped more students will take up TVET courses relating to the industry, especially from the B40 group.

Maszlee said there are many lucrative jobs within the O&G industry.

This, he added, can help the B40 students create better lives for themselves.

Maszlee said the signing marks the formation of the first focused TVET cluster, which is for the O&G sector.

“The industry should be the core player,” he added.

“It should be the industry which takes the first step to work with us.

“By grouping businesses into focused groups, we can address any issues specific to the industry,” he said.

Four companies have come on board for this TVET cluster.

These are Dynac Sdn Bhd, EEW Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Sdn Bhd, and Brooke Dockyard and Engineering Works Corporation.

Maszlee hopes more O&G companies will step forward to be part of this cluster.

JPPKK director Dr Mohammad Naim Yaakub said this will see polytechnic and community college students undergo internships at the companies.

The companies will share their expertise with staff and students.

The companies’ technical staff and engineers will also hold talks on their expertise.

Putting their house in order

Sunday, November 10th, 2019

WE are not the main loan regulating body, PTPK chairman K. Saraswathy said.

Many students in private training providers are led to believe that PTPK is responsible for providing them with financial aid to pursue their studies.

Correcting this misperception, Saraswathy said it is not the only agency that provides financial assistance to TVET students.

“We are just another avenue.

“We only provide loans to students enrolled in skilled training centres registered under the Human Resources Ministry’s Department of Skills Development (JPK).”

When PTPK was established under JPK, it was set up to provide financial aid for students enrolled in public institutes under the Manpower Department and Industrial Training Institutes which run diploma programmes.

“This funding mechanism was only allocated for institutes under the Human Resources Ministry because courses in the eight other ministries were free.

“However, six months after the Cabinet’s approval, the government reviewed PTPK and decided to open the funding to private entities, ” he added.

While there are other agencies that provide student loans to private training providers, Saraswathy said PTPK has become the preferred organisation to disburse loans.

“We have a fee structure for each programme and this has become a reference for other agencies when they give out financial assistance.

“So it looks as if PTPK leads the loan funding for skilled training and therefore the misperception.”

It is estimated that more than 70% of applicants who apply for their financial assistance are students from B40 (low-income) families.

Heavy dependency

While less than 50% of registered private training providers rely on funds from PTPK, StarEdu has learned that a number of providers have based their business model purely on students receiving PTPK loans.

“Our data shows that the number of training providers registered with us have dropped from 410 in 2018 to 367 this year, ” Saraswathy said.

“When we reviewed the allocation criteria, we found that the problem is with the training providers.

“If you rely fully on us, how can your centre operate well? As private training institutes, they are supposed to look at different perspectives or approaches.”

However, she notes that there are hiccups to the system that needs to be looked into.

“We have criteria to ensure the allocation benefits the students. Due to the limited budget we have, we enforced new criteria this year such as employability assurance where training providers must collaborate with the industry on job vacancies that suit their training, ” she said.

“It could be a contributing factor to some training providers saying they’re receiving less allocation – it’s probably because they’re not ready for this approach.

“We are aware of this and are currently doing studies to ensure the allocation can be given to specific programmes and/or industries, and to prioritise the government’s directive.

“Yes, we must give assistance to enterprises to grow (but) it’s not fair for the government to (be responsible for their) funding.”

A clear cut funding mechanism for the private TVET sector is needed

Every year, an allocation of 80% from PTPK’s budget is given to private training providers while only 20% is for public institutes, Saraswathy said.

While the industry has its issues, she does not believe the private sector is ‘broken’.

“You need to look at it from the business perspective. Survival of a training institute is based on the number of students who enrol, ” she added.

However, enrolling students with false expectations that they will receive PTPK loans, causing them to be in debt and subsequently not finish their course is a serious issue, she said.

“There should be one main governing body to overlook funding mechanisms for private TVET institutions, ” she said.

“If the funding mechanism is clear, everyone will replicate it.”

“We currently receive RM200mil a year. If we receive (the desirable) budget, we are ready to take on the challenge of providing loans to every student who applies.

“We will also be comfortable enough to eliminate the quota system and be able to distribute allocation from the start of the year itself. Training providers normally receive their allocation by March, ” she added.

However, she described the situation as a catch-22 because an increase in budget could mean an increase in training providers registering with the corporation for loans.

Federation of JPK Accredited Centres (FeMAC) president P. Sailanathan said that many private training providers are genuine and struggle to make ends meet.

FeMAC is an association comprising members who are accredited private TVET training providers.

According to Sailanathan, the association has more than 350 registered members.

Some centres enrol students and inform them that their loans are subject to approval, he said.

He, however, urged PTPK to give private training providers more time to apply for the allocation quotas.

“I’m not disputing their allegations but the constraint is on our side and within a limited time, we have to do the necessary enrolment, marketing and registration.

“This is a problem we are facing right now, ” he added.

“Since 2016, PTPK’s fund size has reduced to RM200mil while the number of colleges have increased, ” he added.

Sailanathan said Femac’s contention is the lack of money to assist students who want to study.

“We are not blaming anyone as we know that PTPK can only give what is available to them. We are asking for an increase in the size of the fund.

“For Budget 2020, we submitted a proposal to the Finance Ministry for RM1bil for PTPK, ” Sailanathan said.

Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said students should first check if the training provider and the course they are interested in is registered.

“Students must be more discerning while applying for courses and do some basic research online to see the trends of courses that they are interested in, ” he said, adding that centres give a rosy picture of courses.

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Creating clear career pathways for TVET

Thursday, November 7th, 2019
Launch of the MTUN Bachelor of Technology Programme at Universiti Malaysia Pahang in June.

FOR the nation to move forward in tandem with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) and beyond, there is a clear need for a well-trained technical workforce with skill sets that are present- and future-ready as well as future-resilient.

Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) programmes have always been seen as the vehicle to prepare aptly-skilled human capital but somehow the general perspective is that they fall short in terms of the level of skills and knowledge needed for the industry to forge ahead.

Graduates who have qualified from TVET institutions previously do not have a clear career pathway to further their studies and secure jobs that are highly technical in nature.

To create more career pathways and opportunities for TVET students, the Education Ministry with the Malaysian Technical University Network (MTUN) comprising four universities — Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) , Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) , Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) and Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) — and the professional body for technologists and technicians, the Malaysia Board of Technologists (MBOT), have collaborated in establishing newly developed Bachelor of Technology Degree (BTech) programmes in specific technology fields.

Some universities have introduced several of the courses last month at the beginning of the 2019/2020 academic year while other universities will make the courses available in September next year.

The curriculum is more practical and flexible to meet the challenges of the IR 4.0.NSTP/EMAIL

According to MBOT president Tan Sri Ahmad Zaidee Laidin, BTech programmes in MTUN are articulation programmes for TVET graduates with Diploma Vokasional Malaysia (Malaysian Vocational Diploma/DVM) through Kolej Vokasional (KV); and those with Diploma Kemahiran Malaysia (Diploma in Skills Malaysia / DKM) and Diploma Lanjutan Kemahiran Malaysia (Advanced Diploma Skills Malaysia / DLKM) from institutions under the Department of Skills Development, Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR).

The articulation process entails matching the courses, requirements and coursework at vocational colleges with that at higher education institutions.

“KVs start enrolling students as young as 16, post PMR/PT3 examination towards Diploma Vokasional Malaysia (DVM) through Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM) without SPM. That posed a problem for the graduates should they decide to pursue a Bachelor’s degree and beyond at public universities. Other than that they often face difficulty in transitioning from TVET-based education to an academic-based degree programme,” he explained.

Tan Sri Ahmad Zaidee Laidin.

The entry level requirement for BTech programmes in MTUN is not based solely on SPM qualification, Ahmad Zaidee highlighted.

For DVM graduates, most of the candidates have taken the equivalency courses to SPM’s Bahasa Melayu dan Sejarah, namely Bahasa Melayu 1104 as well as Sejarah 1251. For DKM and DLKM graduates, most of the students have taken SPM which already includes Bahasa Melayu and Sejarah.

In any case this nation-building initiative is not met, MTUN has agreed the student can enrol for the courses during their tenure years of BTech studies.

“MBOT through Technicians Act 2015 (Act 768) has established the Technology & Technical Accreditation Council (TTAC). This is a Joint Technical Committee with the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) to perform accreditation on professional technology and technical programmes. The council has published a Technology & Technical Accreditation Manual 2019 (TTAC MANUAL) for a comprehensive guideline for education providers (EP) to design and develop their programmes in the advanced technological fields,” he said.

UniMAP Academic Management Office dean Professor Dr Anuar Mat Safar said the availability of BTech programmes for DVM and DKM qualification holders is timely.

“It is estimated there are 50,000 students graduating with DVM and DKM every year. With the availability of BTech programmes, these students can obtain Bachelor’s degree-level qualifications as per required to face the challenges of IR 4.0,” he said.

Associate Professor Dr Anuar Mat Safar.


The main difference between BTech and conventional degree programmes is that the former were developed based on occupational requirement while the latter are more discipline-based, UTeM vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Wira Dr Raha Abdul Rahim explained.

“In conventional degree, fundamental and technological courses such as mathematics, physics etc are taught separately. In BTech programmes, the focus is for a graduate to perform a task in the work environment, hence fundamental and technological knowledge that is usually taught in different courses are embedded into a course on a particular competency set,” she said.

UTeM vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Wira Dr Raha Abdul Rahim. NSTP/MUHAMMAD ZUHAIRI ZUBER

For example, she illustrated that a BTech Welding programme comprises a course of Welding inspection that combines elements of mathematics, physics, material studies, and local laws accordingly rather than have the subjects taken in separate courses, as with conventional programmes.

UTHM vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Wahid Razzaly, meanwhile, explained that the current delivery or execution of BTech programmes uses the approach of Work Based Learning (WBL) in block released manner. This means the students undergo their studies in two phases: two and a half years at university and another year in the industry.

“The curriculum structure is towards preparing students into industry 4.0 in line with the Program Educational Objective, which is to produce technologist, technopreneur and entrepreneurship.

As such, the success ratio of higher graduate employability is ensured as the students will have a structured WBL courses in the industry itself within a year before they graduate,” he said.

He said another delivery approach via apprenticeship is still in the development progress. The idea is to have workers upgrade their qualifications by studying two days in university and working three days.


UMP Center for Academic Innovation & Competitiveness (CAIC) director Associate Professor Dr Mohd Rusllim Mohamed, who is a director of the MBOT Technology and Technical Accreditation Secretariat, observed that MoE and the Ministry of Human Resources have been working closely to ensure the programmes are running accordingly.

“So far, the government has distributed some budget for reskilling and upskilling of existing lecturers, mentoring training for industry workers, and the implementation of a newly developed concept of teaching factory — University Revaluation Teaching Factory (URTF). Here, students are involved in industry production line, thus creating valuable experiential learning even before they graduate,” he said.

He related that MoE has approached the Malaysian German Chamber of Commerce and Industries (MGCCI) to become a strategic partner to BTech’s MTUN, so that the programmes can be further improved to meet the German standards.

“With MGCCI on board, all of its over 400 companies’ partners would be willing to be part of the ministry’s TVET empowerment agenda,” he said.

To improve the quality of teaching and learning based on IR 4.0, Anuar said UniMAP is currently applying to develop a teaching plant through the URTF effort.

“This involves practical sessions of industrial design, engineering design and 3D printing at this teaching plant,” said Anuar.

UniMAP’s Faculty of Engineering Technology has also applied for TVET transfer of technology (TOT) for existing lecturers to further enhance their knowledge and skills.

“The main objective of this TOT is to obtain professional certification for lecturers at the faculty. Some laboratories are also proposed to be turned into industrial laboratories, to enable professional certificates to be issued. Training to obtain a teaching professional certificate has also been proposed as one of the TOT TVET agendas to be implemented after this provision is approved,” he said.

At UTHM, Wahid said nine memoranda of understanding amd eight letters of intent with related industries have been signed.

“The University-Industry partnerships include those with Siemens, Acson, Carrier, Festo, HardRock Hotel, NIOSH, Binaan Desjaya and Proton. The approach of BTech programmes is to have 60 per cent work-based learning and 40 per cent theory,” he said.


Director of UTeM’s Academic Planning and Development Office Associate Professor Dr Muhammad Fahmi Miskon said with a BTech degree in hand, TVET graduates can also request for appropriate and adequate amount of salaries coherent with the skills that they own.

“It is believed that the competition for fresh graduates to get a job has gotten tougher. Hands-on skills, experience and knowledge are what employers look for today,” he said.

Other than having more students involved in skilled courses, Ahmad Zaidee said it is also very important to get the students to further their studies so that they would be more intellectually improved in many aspects.

“The graduates of these programmes are expected to be employed as soon as they graduate because the programmes are designed to fulfil the needs of the industries.

“The launch of B.Tech programmes in MTUN reflects the government’s commitment in promoting and acknowledging TVET as the driving force in the country’s development. The curriculum is more practical and flexible to meet the challenges of the IR 4.0,” he said.

As the primary professional body for TVET, he said MBOT prepares TVET graduates as technologists and technicians that are readily accepted not just in the local but also the global industry.

“We are establishing our footing in the international arena with other countries via bilateral or multilateral cooperation.

“To date, we have been accepted as provisional signatory for Seoul Accord (multilateral co-accreditation agreement for Information & Computing Technology programmes). MBOT has also taken a proactive step in proposing to pioneer the establishment of APEC Technologists and Technicians Register (ATTR) which is anticipated to be launched next year when Malaysia hosts APEC 2020,” he said.

BRozana Sani.

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What is TVET?

Monday, October 28th, 2019

TECHNICAL and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) includes formal, non-formal and informal learning that prepare young people with the knowledge and skills required in the world of work.

According to the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (Unesco), TVET has been called many names over the years – apprenticeship training, vocational education, technical education, technical-vocational education, occupational education, vocational education and training, professional and vocational education, career and technical education, workforce education, workplace education, and others.

No matter its name, the common feature of TVET as defined by Unesco is that it involves “in addition to general education, the study of technologies and related sciences as well as the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, understanding, and knowledge relating to occupations in various sectors of economics and social life”.

In TVET, young people have the opportunity to learn from basic to advanced levels across a wide range of institutional and work settings.

Did you know?

TVET programmes in Malaysia are offered at certificate, diploma, and degree levels by seven ministries that include MOHE.

According to MOHE’s Malaysia Education Blueprint (Higher Education), there will be an increase in demand for an additional 1.3 million TVET workers by 2020 in the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) identified under the government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

To meet this demand, the government has increased the development expenditure given to public TVET institutions from RM 1.8 billion in 2010 to RM 2.1 billion in 2014.

There are over 1,000 TVET institutions in Malaysia of which 506 are public institutions.

Public institutions like polytechnics, community colleges, vocational colleges and other higher learning institutions can accommodate about 230,000 students.

In 2013, out of the 429,000 students who sat for the SPM examination, 321,000 students enrolled in higher education and training programmes, with more than 50 per cent enrolling at TVET institutions.

Despite facts and figures showing that TVET graduates have high employability (e.g. 83 per cent for Kolej Vokasional graduates), it will still take a  very long time for the society to change their negative perception towards TVET.

Why does society look down on technical education?

1. In the past only those who failed in SPM took up TVET courses. Society feels that TVET courses are for students who are academically poor and for drop-outs.

2. TVET jobs are generally low paying, especially in the initial years.  Those who become carpenters, bricklayers, electricians or technicians, generally start with an allowance or a small salary. These allowances are not much. However, after gaining work experience they can command a good salary.  With recognized certification, experience and good communication plus  people skills, income can reach 5 figures, eg like chefs, underwater welders, piping experts (O&G industry) or those operating own businesses like dressmaking, hairdressing and  beauty salon, automotive workshops, etc.

3. In the past, many TVET institutions produced graduates who were not needed by employers. Such graduates found it difficult to get jobs.  Lack of coordination between TVET institutions and the industry resulted in many graduates who found it difficult to get jobs. When they got jobs, they were underpaid. People had a low opinion on TVET courses.

What is the solution?

What students don’t realise is that, they are now given a second chance to enter tertiary studies. When they completed SPM, their academic results may not be sufficient to enter a university and obtain a degree.

But, with TVET qualification, graduates have a second chance to enter tertiary studies  and obtain a bachelors degree, masters or even a PH.D.

TVET graduates can either pursue technical (Bachelor of Technology with Malaysian Technical University Network) or management qualifications such as Professional Diploma or Executive Bachelor.

Those who are currently employed without any proper qualifications are now encouraged to obtain  skills recognised via the Pengiktirafan Pencapaian Terdahulu (PPT/RPEL). By doing so these workers would have recognised paper qualifications.

Career Tips

If you’re planning to study TVET courses, it is advisable to register at institutions  that offers recognised certification like Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM), which are also warmly welcomed in many foreign countries for employment.

If you have a career related question, please write to:

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