Archive for the ‘Polytechnic and Vocational Education.’ Category

Taking TVET to the next level

Sunday, July 21st, 2019

TECHNICAL and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) graduates are highly sought after and parents and students alike should not shy away from this field.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the employability rate of local polytechnic and community colleges reached a record 96% in 2018.

“(This is) a marked improvement from the year before,” he said during the certificate of collaboration signing ceremony between the Education Ministry and four industry partners on Wednesday.

The industry partners are Berjaya Corporation Berhad, Tropicana Corporation Berhad, Naza Group and Top Glove Corporation Berhad.

Although there has been a rise in employability rates, Maszlee said more needs to be done to attract more students to the TVET sector.

“We have embarked on many efforts to raise the standard of TVET in Malaysia,” he said.

These include the setting up a TVET Empowerment Committee to make TVET the “career of choice” among Malaysians and working with the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and Skills Development Department (JPK) to create a single quality assurance system for TVET, he said.

“We need to be future-ready and world class,” he said, adding that they also want to be industry-driven like in Germany and China.

He said that the ministry is going to increase the number of TVET programmes and courses on offer.

He added that only 5.6% of students, which is around 22,000, enrolled in TVET programmes in 2018.

“Industry-driven TVET is key because it needs to be the primary choice for students,” he added.

Maszlee said this certificate of collaboration marks the next large step between the public and private sector to “take TVET to the next level.”

“The ministry is committed to establishing more ground-breaking partnerships.

“We are speaking with key companies across all economic sectors,” he said.

During the ceremony, Berjaya Corporation Berhad chief executive officer Datuk Seri Robin Tan Yeong Ching said expanding partnerships such as this should help ensure the sharing of industry knowledge and practices, facilities and technology.

However, it is not enough for students to have the right knowledge related to their field.

“They must also develop soft skills such as communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the right attitude in order to secure jobs and advance in their careers,” he added.

To this end, he said, Berjaya Corporation views this collaboration with the ministry as a “smart partnership” to enable students from polytechnic and community colleges to obtain internships and career opportunities with the corporation.

Naza Group chief strategy officer Azrul Reza Aziz said this collaboration will enable the company to facilitate and provide industry expertise in terms of curriculum development related to the relevant sectors.

Tropicana Corporation Berhad Marketing and Sales and Business Development managing director Ung Lay Tin said: “Tropicana is thrilled to share in this endeavour, sharing our venues as training spaces, opening doors for opportunities for real-world work experience and creating relevant joint training programmes.”

Top Glove Corporation Berhad manufacturing and operations adviser Datuk Dr Andy Seo commended the Government on their initiatives to reduce unemployment rates and provide a better space for highly-skilled local talent.

He also said that the company hopes to recruit at least 1,000 TVET talents, crucial to their expansion plans, next year for jobs in their Malaysian factories.

By Rebecca Rajaendram

NST Leader: TVET – Big room for improvement

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019
(File pix) Only 13 per cent of all upper secondary students are pursuing TVET courses, while merely nine per cent are doing them at polytechnics. Pix by NSTP/Aizuddin Saad

THE world of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is one of paradoxes and other mind bogglers.

Five thousand TVET and science places are waiting to be filled, yet there are no takers. Puzzlingly, too, TVET grad employability is a very high 95 per cent versus tertiary institution grad employability of an average of 80 per cent.

This the parents and students do not know, says Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik. Little wonder, only 13 per cent of all upper secondary students are pursuing TVET courses, while merely nine per cent are doing them at polytechnics.

A 2018 report by Khazanah Research Institute (KRI) on The School-To-Work Transition of Young Malaysians lends support to the minister’s claim.

The report quotes job seekers as saying TVET to be the most useful qualification for getting a good job. Yet — here comes another mind boggler — TVET is not a popular education pathway. As Maszlee says, there may need to be a deeper analysis. We agree.

Perhaps, the problem may not be in TVET itself, but in everything associated with it. This maze must be untangled. Consider this.

There are more than 1,000 public and private TVET institutions — 565 public institutions under six ministries and 600 private institutions.

This causes a plethora of problems, says the KRI report. One such is a lack of strategic coordination. This should have been to some extent solved by the Malaysia Board of Technologies — a governance and certification body — launched on Nov 17, 2016. But fragmentation continues. The puzzle thickens.

“Low wages” appear to be standing in the way of TVET, too. To Maszlee, this is a perception problem. It may very well be. And can be solved with some generous dose of awareness.

Remuneration is based on TVET skills acquired and as the skills are upgraded along with the experience gained, salary tends to move up.

But there is hope yet. Maszlee says a cabinet-level committee is hard at work consolidating resources as well as synchronising efforts to ensure stronger branding, more effective governance, funding and accreditation structures to make TVET a primary choice for students.

We will hold our horses until the more “sexy” TVET arrives. Part of this reform involves making the TVET industry responsive, according to deputy director-general at the Education Ministry’s Polytechnic and Community College Education Department, Dr Mohammad Naim Yaakub.

The idea is, he says, to make supply match demand by way of artificial intelligence and big data. This has been the experience of many European countries. European countries have skewed their skills development policy towards encouraging such a match.

KRI sees competency-based training as critical to TVET reform. This allows for the design of practical, demand-driven courses for industry needs.

Competency-based TVET uses short modular courses geared to market industry demand, enabling students to enter the market with a defined set of skills.

By New Straits Times.

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Girls perform well in technical and vocational courses

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

Tun Juhar (centre) with Ismail (second left), Zainab (second right) and the management team of Kota Kinabalu Politeknik.

KOTA KINABALU: Despite the stereotype that boys do better in technical and vocational studies, girls have achieved highest grades in all four diploma courses during the morning session of Politeknik Kota Kinabalu 23rd Convocation, yesterday.

Norbayah Ahmad, 28, who received an excellent award for her diploma in mechanical engineering, said achieving good result in academic and co-curriculum required realistic goals.

“As for me, I have been through so many challanges in life, where I have to stop schooling when I was in Form Four due to personal matter.

“After seven years away from school, I came back with a goal. I want to be an educator. My mission was clear and I want to achieve it. I took my SPM in 2014 but my result was not good enough for me to register in a teacher’s college.

“In 2015, I decided to pursue my study in Kota Kinabalu Politeknik and aimed for the best student award, which I did.

“Today, I am doing my degree in Technical University of Malaysia in Malacca and I am planning to be a lecturer. I am confident that I am half way there,” she said.

Norbayah, who is from Telipok, said although mechanical engineering is often related to boys, the course is actually suitable for everyone despite their gender because machanical engineering is basically to discover how things work.

“As women, we don’t have to compete with men. We have to compete with ourselves and be a better version every single day,” she said.

Norbayah (left) and Floyana.

As for Tamparuli girl Floyana Chin who received an industrial award for being an excellent trainee during her industrial training, her responsibility as the eldest of three siblings was the main reason for her to perform well.

“My other siblings and I were raised by a single mother. I witnessed my mother struggling with her day job as a teacher and full-time parent. It was not easy, I know.

“I have no option but to do good in studies, get a job and help my mother to support my other siblings,” she said.

Floyana, who is currently working in Petaling Jaya as a junior programmer said she showed her appreciation by giving her first salary to her mother.

“Living in big city like Petaling Jaya is not easy because the cost is high, but I am grateful for this opportunity. I will gain a lot of experience to allow me to contribute to the industry in Sabah.

“I also hope more Sabahans will start looking at skills and technical institutions as their choice because there are so many opportunities in this line,” she said.

Shanthana Shanmuganatan, who received the Politeknik Director Award, said she always maintained good relationship with lecturers because it was easier for her to ask questions and involved in various activities.

Shanthana (second left) and her family members.

“Since I am from Selangor, I don’t have family here. I only have friends and lecturers, so I can focus on co-curriculum. I have the best experience studying here, and I’m glad choosing Sabah for my diploma course.

“I am currently working as a service associate at front office department, Pulse Grande Hotel in Putrajaya and I enjoyed working there.

“I will continue working for more experience and will see if there is a bigger opportunity in the future,” she added.

Sabah Head of State, Tun Juhar Mahiruddin handed over all the scrolls during the first session.

During his opening speech, Juhar expressed his appreciation for the excellent performance of Politeknik Kota Kinabalu as a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) centre in the state.

He said the increase of employability from 93.5 percent in 2017 to 95 percent in 2018 showed that the institution was on the right track producing skilled workers that were needed by the industry.

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Developing industry specific skills

Monday, March 18th, 2019
The first batch of graduates from the Malaysian Meister and Apprenticeship Programmes have already started working at NHF as full-time employees.

The first batch of graduates from the Malaysian Meister and Apprenticeship Programmes have already started working at NHF as full-time employees.

LEADING automotive replacement parts manufacturer, New Hoong Fatt Holdings Berhad (NHF) welcomes the Government’s emphasis on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). The empowerment of TVET is critical to addressing the expected increase in demand for 1.3 million additional TVET workers by 2020, as stated by the Education Ministry.

NHF has been taking part in the Malaysian Meister programme (meaning Master Craftsman) since 2015, which is one of the many TVET courses offered in Malaysia.

NHF managing director Chin Jit Sin said: “We are pleased that more focus is being placed on TVET as upskilling and reskilling will create skilled workers who are not only highly sought after in the automotive industry but also many other industries.”

“We have been working closely with the Selangor Human Resource Development Centre on the Malaysian Meister programme.

“The programme is aimed at developing industry specific skills such as precision machining and mechatronics,” he said.

Chin said the first batch of graduates have already started working at NHF as full-time employees, adding that there are a few more batches in the pipeline.

“Apart from that, we have also initiated our very own apprenticeship programme, which is an alternative education/career path for school-leavers,” he added.

A stronger focus for TVET could potentially lower the youth unemployment rate, address the issue of underemployment, and bridge the skills gap between new graduates and employers, he said.

On the national level, he added that it would equip the Malaysian workforce with the skills required for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, reduce our nation’s dependency on foreign workers, increase national competitiveness and push Malaysia to become a developed country.

“Therefore, TVET empowerment is beneficial to all the stakeholders and with the ministry’s pledge to make TVET as students’ first choice of studies in the next five years, it would encourage higher participation in TVET programmes.

“This is because one of the challenges with the programmes is student enrolment. We have difficulty finding participants to join the programmes even with the programmes being funded by the Government and corporations like us.

“We are optimistic that eventually with greater emphasis being placed on TVET, the perception towards it would change as well.” Chin added.

The Malaysian Meister programme spans over two years and is a collaborative effort between the Selangor Human Resource Development Centre and the Federation of Malaysian Skills Development Centre.

It is a skills-based course where students are trained through a two-pronged approach via practical training and theoretical learning.

On the other hand, the Group also has an apprenticeship programme sponsored by Auto Global Parts Industries Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NHF. It serves as an alternative education/career path for school leavers and upon graduating from the 18-month programme, the graduates can either further develop their careers to become a manufacturing specialist or take part in the Meister Programme.

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TVET, the way forward.

Sunday, February 10th, 2019
Yeoh (left) and Junita share the stage during the forum.

Yeoh (left) and Junita share the stage during the forum.

EXPERIENCED Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) practitioners need to be part of the education system as specialists.

Innovation in TVET must be strengthened.

Integrate STEM into TVET.

These were some of the points that were put across during the Malaysian TVET Forum 2019; a one-day forum organised by Kingsley Strategic Institute (KSI), that discussed important aspects of TVET over four sessions.

KSI president Tan Sri Michael Yeoh said as the nation moves towards the fourth Industrial Revolution and digital disruption, TVET will be critical in providing the skilled manpower the industry needs.

“We need (more) public and private partnerships to further scale-up the delivery of TVET programmes,” he added.

IBM Malaysia government and regulatory affairs director Hasnul Nadzrin Shah said TVET must be seen as a strategic enabler for national competitiveness, in the digital economy.

“In today’s world, we have to ensure that the country implements a “no one gets left behind” policy.

“TVET enabled employees will be an integral part of the digital transformation revolution.

“We have to make sure that TVET students are digitally literate and we leverage on their natural propensity to enjoy materials from the web.

“TVET must become mainstream and (be made) an integral part of the education (system),” he said.

Provide a platform for TVET students to improve on their skills, said National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Harry Tan.

“This is so they can serve at a higher level.

“This is what we aspire to have, and it is a challenge we are facing,” he added.

Tan said the country needs to look at TVET not as an alternative, but as the main way forward. “Academics propel the country forward, (but) it cannot build (the nation).

“We need to stand up on our own feet and the only way we can progress is by (implementing) good policies,” he explained.

Taylor’s University faculty of innovation and technology executive dean Prof Dr David Asirvatham believes TVET will be a major supplier of the workforce as it is critical for the economy of the country.

“Some of the things we need to look into is how to introduce innovation in TVET.

“Among the approaches to strengthen innovation in TVET is, we need more project-based learning.

“The teaching of concepts must be strengthened, especially in terms of ideas, skills and knowledge, as well as building a (collaborative) team because innovation isn’t about individuality,” he added.

Relevant programmes and suitable career paths must be looked into, he said, to prepare graduates for a global market.

On the integration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) into TVET, Eduspec Holdings Berhad chief executive officer Lim Een Hong feels TVET offers an ideal platform for integration.

“When STEM is taught, we need to focus on critical thinking, problem solving and creativity, which are essential for the workforce.

“(Here), there are similar elements between TVET and STEM, and how we can integrate them,” he explained.

It is possible to integrate STEM skills into each subject, he said, but more research needs to be done.

Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said the 11th Malaysia Plan projects an increase in the percentage of skilled workers among the local workforce from 28% to 35% by 2020.

“In order to achieve this target, TVET is to become a game changer so that it could easily meet the demand and requirement of the industry in terms of addressing the mismatch.

“The target is to increase TVET students’ annual intake gradually from 164,000 in 2013 to 225,000 in 2020,” he added.

His speech text was read by human resources department planning and research division director Junita Mohamed Ali.

Kulasegaran said there are 564 public and 690 private TVET institutions in the country.

Among the challenges TVET face, he explained, include factors such as dual accreditation bodies, overlapping of courses offered by the institutions, non-uniformity of entry requirements and different fee structures.

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said changing the social perception of TVET is not an easy task.

“We have made significant progress in addressing the acceptance of TVET into mainstream education. “However, it is still perceived as the ‘second-best option’ in comparison to general education,” she said.

Her speech text was read by Education Ministry polytechnic and community college education department senior director (academics) Zainab Ahmad.

As economies transform, Teo said, TVET must as well, as it needs to adapt to the new configuration of the economy and a different cluster of needs.

By Sandhya Menon
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TVET, a stepchild no more

Sunday, January 20th, 2019
Students of Politeknik Ungku Omar get hands on training on automotive engineering at the workshop at their campus in Ipoh.

Students of Politeknik Ungku Omar get hands on training on automotive engineering at the workshop at their campus in Ipoh.

A framework has been proposed to address the long-standing problems of our TVET system

A NEW framework for technical and vocational training is in the pipelines.

If approved, the proposal will see a more streamlined, effective, and industry-relevant, Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) system.

Proposed by the National TVET Movement to the Economic Planning Unit last month, the framework aims to address the country’s ailing TVET system.

National TVET Movement vice-chairman Datuk Ahmad Tajudin Jab said if implemented, the framework would simplify our fragmented system, and prevent the overlapping of responsibilities between different government bodies.

“Our focus is on upper secondary school students. We want to create a TVET champion.

TVET students being trained to be industry-ready. — File photo

TVET students being trained to be industry-ready. — File photo

“We want students to have better access to choices between academics and something more hands-on like TVET. This is what’s happening in other countries,” said Ahmad Tajudin, who recently retired as the Education Ministry deputy director-general.

Among those part of the Movement are the Federation of Human Resources Ministry’s Department of Skills Development (JPK) Accredited Centres (FeMac), National Council of Professors, and the National Parent-Teacher Associations’ Vocational and Technical Consultative Council.

For too long, TVET has been the “troubled stepchild” of the education system, he said.

This framework tackles long-standing problems like the:

> Overlapping of programmes and certifications;

> Misguided focus on post-secondary TVET students instead of upper secondary students;

> Existence of multiple accreditation bodies and agencies implementing TVET;

> High operations cost resulting from the many ministries involved;

> Weak policies; and

> Private TVET providers being treated as competitors.

“All TVET institutions should be streamlined, rationalised, and consolidated, under the Education Ministry.

“This ensures that teachers and trainers are better taken care of under one scheme of service. And, there won’t be a need to close down any institutions if all facilities and resources are under one roof,” he said, adding that it would also be more cost effective for the Government while ensuring smoother communication between the industry and institutions.

Other reforms proposed by the Movement include:

> Reducing existing certifications to an important few;

> Having a single accreditation body for TVET;

> Establishing two educational pathways for students to choose from;

> Allowing industries to take the lead;

> Enhancing TVET apprenticeship programmes based on models from other developed countries; and

> Formulating policies and legislations to enhance careers in TVET.

Greater emphasis, and an overview, of TVET implementation is needed, Ahmad Tajudin said.

There should be training provisions to facilitate contributions from private TVET providers, and there must be closer collaboration between the industry and these providers.

“Our TVET system needs stronger institutional coordination, and greater transparency among the multiple public agencies.

“TVET restructuring is a small part of a holistic solution, but it’s a start to the reform,” he said, adding that strong political will from the Government was crucial to ensure the country’s TVET success.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the Government would continue enhancing the capabilities of TVET institutions and systems to remain competitive and meet industry demands.

Speaking during his annual new year address in Serdang on Monday, he said the ministry would implement a harmonised accreditation and quality assurance system to enable student mobility in TVET institutions, which includes the Malaysian Technical University Network (MTUN).

The launch of Limkokwing TVET International, a TVET Malaysia Training Centre at Limkokwing University.MOHD SAHAR MISNI/The Star

The launch of Limkokwing TVET International, a TVET Malaysia Training Centre at Limkokwing University.MOHD SAHAR MISNI/The Star

MTUN, he said, should move in the direction of Fachhochschule – Germany’s tertiary education institution specialising in topical areas.

MTUN, he added, shouldn’t be evaluated solely based on publications, but also on the ability of the graduates produced to solve technical issues.

He said the ministry plans to increase the quality and delivery of TVET by enabling the industry to lead the curriculum development, avoid overlapping of programmes and resources, improve cost effectiveness, and widen the funding to increase enrolment.

He said the ministry was also in the midst of addressing recognition issues involving controversial vocational colleges.

He assured polytechnics and community colleges that they wouldn’t be sidelined in the reform process.

“To ensure the employability of our graduates, closer collaboration between these institutions and the industry – especially with the big players – will be prioritised,” he said, adding that these were part of the ministry’s efforts in making sure that TVET, polytechnics, vocational colleges, and community colleges, are no longer seen as second choice options.

In June last year, Dr Maszlee appointed Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar to chair a special TVET task force.

The duties of the task force, said Dr Maszlee, was to conduct research across all ministries that provide TVET education and training, and recommend how the country’s TVET system can be improved. This includes a review of TVET education and training laws, and the possibility of a TVET commission.

However, the TVET industry was left reeling following Nurul Izzah’s resignation as PKR vice president on Dec 17, and her decision to no longer serve the federal government in any capacity.

By Sandhya Menon and Christina Chin
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Boost to TVET

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018
(File pix) The automotive industry is one of the sectors with openings for TVET graduates. Pix by Owee Ah Chun

ACCORDING to the Education Ministry’s Malaysia Education Blueprint (Higher Education), there will be an increase in demand for an additional 1.3 million Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) workers by 2020 in the 12 National Key Economic Areas identified under the government’s Economic Transformation Programme.

Under the 2019 Budget, the government will set up a TVET fund to create a more competitive environment as well as training programmes to fulfil industry need. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, who made the announcement in parliament, saidRM30 million has been allocated to this fund

TVET programmes in the country are offered at certificate, diploma and degree levels by seven ministries that include the Education Ministry, which offers the most TVET programmes to the highest number of students.

Presently, qualifications for academic (higher education) and vocational education offered by universities, polytechnics and community colleges under the ministry are accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), whereas programmes offered by skills training institutions are accredited by the Department for Skill Development of the Human Resources Ministry.

With a renewed focus and direction given by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to fulfil the national agenda of Vision 2020, TVET education strives to provide a skilled Malaysian workforce which can benefit the industry.

It is estimated that 98,000 students sign up yearly to enrol in TVET programmes at 34 polytechnic institutions in the nation.

While the allocated sum for the fund was lauded by TVET providers such as polytechnics, community colleges and technical and vocational colleges as well as industry players, they also expressed their concerns.

Polytechnic and Community College Education Department senior director Zainab Ahmad stressed that the TVET fund is not enough to leverage on.

“Public TVET institutions are not rich organisations. Year after year, we are doing more with less budget allocation, spending more on operations and development.

“It is for us to come up with new curricula to stay relevant to cater to industry demand. However, we also need up-to-date and top-notch equipment, facilities and machineries for the students. Sometimes, we don’t have enough for maintenance or even our day-to-day operational costs,” she said.

“With the TVET fund, we need to allocate for training programmes as well as teaching and learning at 36 polytechnics and 102 community colleges nationwide.

“But we have the passion to nurture our students,” she added.

The department is aware that the industry must come first, hence it sets curricula that meet MQA requirements.

“MQA is an international accreditation agency equal to those in Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.”

Kolej Vokasional Ekonomi Rumah Tangga (ERT) Setapak director Nor A’idah Johari is hopeful that vocational colleges will also get an allocation from the fund.

“We have 90 vocational colleges throughout the country including Sabah and Sarawak. We need to value add our facilities and infrastructure.

“At ERT Setapak, we are focused on upgrading our industrial kitchen and sewing machines so that students will experience the real world environment similar to hotels and the fashion industry.

“For example, our aim is one fashion student, one machine so that they know the tools of their trade,” said Nor A’idah.

University Teknologi Malaysia Corporate Fellow (UTM-Malaysia Petroleum Resources Corporation) Institute for Oil and Gas Adjunct Professor Zulkifli Abd Rani said as the government has a vision to create a 60 per cent TVET workforce by 2020 in line with the country’s aspirations to emerge as a developed nation, a dedicated and right funding is essential.

“The TVET fund is timely as without a dedicated fund, nothing will move effectively and efficiently.

In addition, the management of the fund must be given the utmost attention by all parties involved in TVET enhancement,” added Zulkifli.

Zulkifli, who is Techno Diverge Link Sdn Bhd managing director, said the acronym TVET also stands for Towards Victory in Educational Transformation—the reform of the TVET education system in line with the aspiration of the New Malaysia government.

“We need to ensure that 20 per cent is spent on planning and 80 per cent on execution with 100 per cent commitment on follow-up correction and proactive enhancement.

“Some may argue that the RM30 million allocation for the TVET fund is not enough. But it is an opportunity to work together smartly as one team with common objectives to come up with the desired programmes to meet TVET deliverables with the allocated fund.

“It is better than nothing. We need to ensure the right integration and seamless interface between various key ministries involved in TVET programmes under the purview of the newly set up TVET Coordination Committee led by Nurul Izzah Anwar. Professional members representing regulators from the government, academicians from polytechnics/universities, industry technocrats and consultants as well as non-governmental organisations representatives must be brought in,” added Zulkifli.

Apart from the restructuring and transformation of TVET training programmes, key stakeholders such as the government, polytechnics and the industry need to align and chart the way forward on areas of priority for the courses.

“This is to produce competent and highly skilled graduates to meet industry demand. In my view as a technocrat, the key relevant industries in the current landscape and future prospects which are extremely important to the nation are oil and gas, renewable energy, construction, manufacturing of electrical and electronics products, automotive, aviation, plantation, culinary and hotel management.”


The landscape of the industry has changed rapidly and tremendously over the last few years.

The industry needs highly skilled TVET graduates with leadership qualities and a good command of English.

Zulkifli said: “The overall framework on restructuring and transforming TVET training programmes needs to be revisited to reflect the current landscape of key relevant industries.

“The programmes need to address the country’s dependency on foreign workers especially in the skilled job categories.

“We must also recognise the shift of the industry from labour-intensive to knowledge-and-innovation-based-economic activities. TVET institutions must be equipped with the state-of-the-art technologies to expose both lecturers and students to the real world.

“TVET institutions must assist the industry in identifying training that suits its requirements. The collaboration must focus on regular site visits and specific duration of industrial hands-on training, for example.”

At a forum and dialogue session titled Building a Brighter Talent through TVET at the one-day National Industry Dialogue 2018: Living Skills in the 21st Century: TVET Empowerment, Zainab added: “At the Polytechnic and Community College Education Department, we try our best to take care of all the institutions under us — after all ‘poly’ connotes ‘many’ and there’s the ‘community’.

“We are at the crossroads of the old and new TVET mindsets.

“In addition to industry demand, we also have to cater to parents’ wants for their children. Society and the industry have high expectations of TVET institutions.

“And the companies may want the graduates to work for them until they retire but we have to consider their’ career development too. That’s why we also provide for a pathway to higher learning.”

The retail sector is a good area for vocational graduates.

“If they dream big, they may own their own businesses one day. The younger generation is IT-savvy and this gives them the chance to work on the Internet of Things open source networking so the country can go global.

“The majority of lecturers in polytechnics are from the engineering and technology fields. We also have a strong foundation in electronics and electrical and mechanical engineering to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


The transformation of vocational education, which began in 2013, has spurred the trend in the education scene in the country. This transformation has promulgated a shortcut for students to get their diploma qualification at vocational colleges after they finish Form Three.

Indeed the expansion of the vocational stream in the education system has been practised in many countries as the number of students gets bigger in line with technological advancement and economic demands of a particular country.

TVET also aims to produce a labour force competent in certain areas, hence internationalisation is one of the platforms to expose students and lecturers to the development of TVET abroad.

Nor A’idah said TVET students compete on the international stage and TVET institutions partner with industries and foreign universities to gain exposure.

Recently a delegation from vocational colleges went to China to look into internationalisation programmes.

“We visited colleges in Beijing that offer technical courses similar to our vocational programmes in Malaysia.

“The visit also opens up an opportunity for students to learn about living and learning abroad through dialogue sessions with the Malaysian Students Association in Beijing during the campus tour,” she added.

The visit was also designed to look at pedagogical practices of Malay Language Studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

“Students and lecturers also explored the learning environment and the use of technology and equipment at schools that offer skill-based courses in Beijing.

By Zulita Mustafa.

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National movement of TVET formed

Sunday, November 4th, 2018
Nordin (left) and Sailanathan speak on the TVET issue.

Nordin (left) and Sailanathan speak on the TVET issue.

NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisations, experts, academics and stakeholders have come together to form a body called the National Movement of TVET (Technical and Vocational Education Training) Empowerment.

The movement has devised a national framework for the betterment of TVET.

“We hope to propose this framework to the Government in the coming weeks.

“Some of the parties involved in the movement include the Federation of JPK Accredited Centres (FeMac), National Council of Professors and the National Parent-Teacher Associations’ Vocational and Technical Consultative Council.

“The crisis that has befallen it isn’t about our training model not meeting international standards but its structural governance,” said FeMAC honorary advisor Nordin Abdul Malek.

Nordin said it is imperative for relevant ministries to meet stakeholders and plan the future of TVET.

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

Currently, there are over 350 accredited centres in the country registered with it as members.

One of the aspects put forward in the proposal by the movement is for the Government to be clear on TVET’s funding mechanism.

“In the future, we don’t want the Government to depend only on the Skills Development Fund Corporation (PTPK) but instead, on CSR funds as well as contributions from government-linked companies and industries,” he added.

FeMAC president P. Sailanathan outlined several pivotal issues affecting TVET.

“Currently, we don’t have a representative from FeMAC in the PTPK board.

“If stakeholders are not represented in the board, who else will then speak on behalf of the private sector?” he asked.

Sailanathan also called for transparency in the funding of PTPK loans, saying it should be independent and for it to function like the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN).

Between 2015 and 2018, PTPK loans have been cut by 60%.

“It should come under the Finance Ministry where there is no quota.

“Every student who applies for a PTPTN loan will receive some amount of money for their education.

“However for PTPK, the loan is based on the availability of funding.”

Sharing an example, Sailanathan said when an accredited centre with 400 students, for example, applies for loans, PTPK often only has enough funding quota for 100 students, due to the limitation of funds.

Therefore, the funding mechanism should be seamless like PTPTN, he added.

FeMAC hopes Human Resource Minister M Kula Segaran can meet stakeholders.

“We want to know whether we are and will be relevant as we currently have no clear guideline for the next five years.

“Let us know your plans for TVET’s private sector.”

Give Malaysian TVET trainers opportunities as we have capable trainers, Sailanathan added.

He was commenting on Kula Segaran’s recent announcement on the Government’s plans to recruit trainers from India and Ukraine to train Malaysian TVET trainers.

By Sandhya Menon

Tvet, a viable pathway

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018
(File pix) Mohd Hazzerwan Mohd Hazzlee is collaborating with big names in fashion.

For many students, tertiary education is the ticket to good jobs, opening up opportunities to be successful in life.

Parents, teachers and society in general have ingrained this in children from a young age.

To graduate with a degree, students spend years learning in class which may leave them little time for internships to gain experience at the workplace. But in today’s competitive job market, practical experience is the number one quality employers look for in hires.

Although tertiary education has always been the top choice for many students, technical and vocational education and training (Tvet) offers a compelling career path especially for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) school-leavers.

Tvet graduate Mohd Hazzerwan Mohd Hazzlee, co-founder and creative director of Wan & Mary, said a vocational college education has helped him to realise his dream. The collection consists of arts and cultural elements which mix high fashion with street fashion to meet current trends.

The Diploma in Fashion Design graduate from Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi Mara Rembau (KKTMR) said: “I rejected offers of different courses from top public and private universities because I wanted to pursue something that I love—fashion and art.”

Mohd Hazzerwan later pursued the Degree in Fashion design course at Heriot Watt university of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

“At first I was a bit hesitant to apply for the fashion course at KKTMR as the institution was new then and was taking in its first batch of students. But I am glad I took a chance.

“I had the most amazing experience at KKTMR. until now, the lecturers have been supportive as it is not easy being in the fashion industry.”

Having recently won a prize of RM100,000 in Gen F (generasi Fesyen), a programme for budding fashion designers, Mohd Hazzerwan is collaborating with big names in fashion.

He is excited at his latest partnership with Fashion valet for its ready-to-wear collection.

He is also preparing to make his debut at International Fashion Week next year in either London, Paris or Milan.

There has been growing concern over the rate of employability among fresh graduates, be it from local or private institutions. Students today may aspire to professions which may not be relevant to the country’s needs.

This may be due to lack of exposure and knowledge on the economic outlook in the country. Nevertheless, students have to plan their careers carefully.

TVET programmes are often deemed inferior to courses offered by private and local universities. It is unfortunate that there seems to be a stigma attached to those who pursue TVET. The younger generation needs to realise the importance of TVET and regard it as a viable pathway.

Associate Professor Dr Mohamad Sattar Rasul from the Department of Learning and Teaching Innovation (Technical and Vocational Education/Engineering Education) at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Faculty of Education said that this misconception of TVET is common among low academic achievers.

“We have heard success stories and achievements of TVET graduates who may earn more than degree holders,” he commented, adding that a teacher’s role is imperative to see TVET in a new light.

“It is essential to expose secondary school teachers to the TVET educational framework and career path. Teachers have to stop regarding TVET as the second or last option for SPM school-leavers.

“Our country’s TVET framework is unique where students have many course options. Those who do not do well academically have the chance to pursue higher education regardless of their SPM results.

“TVET in Malaysia must be revamped or remodelled after the German and Japanese curricula which are endorsed by the industry. Professional bodies in Malaysia need to step up and ensure the standard curriculum is in line with industry need. The curriculum here was developed by the board at an institution which sometimes does not cater to industry demand.”

The country needs a skilled workforce and innovators who possess a high creativity in utilising its resources for manufacturing and produce good services to compete globally.

“TVET is important is many ways especially in the economic and social context. The government has emphasised that TVET graduates are not job seekers but job creators. This will contribute to the country’s economic growth and the sustainability of our social context in handling future challenges.”


TVET offers a rich array of programmes in many fields including automotive, culinary arts, electronics, engineering, entrepreneurship and journalism. It involves learning in class and hands-on training, which provide knowledge and skills for employment.

TVET students are equipped with specific skills in a specific field. Early exposure to practical and on-the-job-training ready them for the workplace.

CKL Group of Companies, which is best known for its Lim Tayar car service centres, established School of Skills (SoS) to meet industrial need for local experts and skilled labour in the automotive industry. SoS aims to instil its students with real-world experience, ready for the workplace.

CKL Group of Companies, executive director Clement Lim said that SoS is important to produce skilled workers in the automotive sector.

“SoS acts as a self-mitigation tool for the company to alleviate dependency on foreign workers. We hope to nurture more talents and hone quality recruits for the industry.

“SoS offers programmes designed to give students the skills they need to become skilled and professional workers. The number of cars on the road is increasing, making the automotive field a big market. Hence, once students finish their studies at SoS, a job placement is guaranteed.”

SoS training department head Daneshwaran Krishnasamy said trained experts in all fields are in demand in the country.

“Our programmes boost skills and the workforce in the automotive field. By doing something practical and hands-on, we are able to draw out students’ interest easily. Many of our students, who did not perform well academically, are passionate when it comes to practical training.

“This industry is lacking in manpower. I used to work at BMW car services where the technicians were highly paid. Some were confident enough to leave and set up their own workshops for premium cars.

“The biggest advantage of SoS is its workshop where students spend most of their training hours. However, this school is not for Lim Tayar alone. After finishing their advanced diploma, students can apply for internships at any automotive workshops in the country,” he added.

SoS offers theoretical and practical training, and the work-integrated Train and Place programme, which involves four months of classroom-based learning followed by eight months of industry exposure.


Generally, students go through 11 years of academic-based primary and secondary education.

Students who are not academically inclined can opt for vocational college as early as 16 years old upon completing Form Three.

Aiman Hakeem Aminuddin decided not to follow the mainstream path of applying to university despite scoring 8As in the SPM examination. The MRSM Tun Ghaffar student enrolled in the Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance course at SoS instead.

“I chose to pursue a TVET programme because I realised that picking up a skill benefits me in many ways, not only for future job prospects but also in my daily life.

“My family and I were going back to our hometown when the car tyre was punctured. Having learnt the skills in my diploma course, I was able to change the tyre without help,” he said.

“My parents convinced me to pursue a TVET programme. When the results for university applications were released, I did not even check mine as I was determined to study at a vocational college.


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Degree level studies for TVET diploma holders

Thursday, October 4th, 2018
Deputy Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Minister Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis (fifth from left) with Malaysia Board of Technologists (MBOT) president Tan Sri Ahmad Zaidee Laidin (fourth from left) and Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Mahfuz Omar in a group picture to commemorate the signing of the memorandum of understanding between MBOT and the Technology Expert Panel in Putrajaya. Pix by Ahmad Irham Mohd Noor

TECHNICAL and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) diploma holders will soon have the opportunity to study at the bachelor’s degree level in four universities under the Malaysian Technical University Network (MTUN), creating better career opportunities for their future.

This follows the exchange of 21 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) between the Malaysia Board of Technologists (MBOT) with the Technology Expert Panel (TEP), a strategic alliance between three sectors, namely government agencies, industry and the academia, under the purview of the Human Resource Ministry, Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Ministry, and Education Ministry, in Putrajaya last week.

Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Mahfuz Omar said the initiative will look at existing gaps that TVET graduates face in terms of qualifications to enable them to further their studies at Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Universiti Malaysia Pahang and Universiti Malaysia Perlis.

“What seems to be the problem for most TVET diploma holders is that they don’t have the necessary Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia credits required by MTUN for entry. We hope to prepare students at TVET colleges with the necessary requirements before they apply to enter MTUN universities,” he said.

However, Mahfuz said, even if TVET diploma holders did not further their studies at universities, they will have the advantage of being recognised as professional technologists and certified technicians.

“We must explore collaborations with international bodies so that our TVET graduates will not only have certificates from Malaysia but also be internationally certified.

That way, they can either work abroad or gain better positions when foreign investors come to Malaysia through recognition accorded,” he added.

MBOT, the professional body that gives professional recognition to technologists and technicians in related technology and technical fields, has already embarked on the articulation process to enable TVET diploma holders to bridge the gap towards the bachelor’s degree level education, said its president, Tan Sri Ahmad Zaidee Laidin.

“The process entails matching the courses, requirements and coursework at vocational colleges with that at higher education institutions. This will ensure that courses the students complete will not have to be repeated at the institution to which they are transferring”, said Zaidee.

He said MBOT has signed an MoU with Education Ministry’s Malaysian Qualifications Agency to facilitate the process for the MTUN initiative.

“On the private higher education side, UniKL is already working with MBOT to facilitate entry of technologists and technicians into their degree courses,” he said.

Mahfuz said in supporting the country’s aspiration towards Industrial Revolution 4.0, MBOT is seen asadynamic and flexible professional body and most relevant platform to leverage expertise and skills from various areas of technology under its wings.

“This advanced technological elements are pervasively embedded into the TVET curricular right up to the technological practicing provision, to add value to the various booming industrial sectors in Malaysia,” he said.

At the MoU exchange, among the TEP panel members that were represented were CyberSecurity Malaysia, DRB-Hicom University of Automotive Malaysia. Allied Aeronautics Training Centre Sdn Bhd, Mara Corporation, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and Federation of Malaysian Skills Development Centres.


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