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

Use the right technology

Saturday, September 19th, 2020
Disruption to our water supply system has been occurring much too often but there is a solution to it. - NSTP file picDisruption to our water supply system has been occurring much too often but there is a solution to it. – NSTP file pic

LETTERS: The Covid-19 pandemic has rattled global health systems. Despite the challenges faced, the World Health Organisation has praised Malaysia’s health system, which is a testament to the way we have managed this crisis.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of our water management system as water pollution continues to recur, disrupting the nation’s water supply.

The latest culprit involved industrial premises in Selangor, which had previously been caught polluting a nearby river earlier this year. Our care for the environment is not something we can be proud of.

There are too many environmental crimes taking place. We can, however, take solace in the fact that the awareness about the environment is growing as demonstrated in social media on the latest water pollution incident affecting the Klang Valley.

The biggest concern is the disruption to our water supply, which badly affects the economy and society.

There should be a sustainable solution to the matter. The truth is there is a strategy that can solve the problem. The answer lies in the deployment of the right technology, which are already in place and widely used in developed countries.

The problem statement is “The water treatment system used in the country is unable to remove certain pollutants, especially untreated chemicals, which are dumped near industrial premises. Any sign of high pollution levels, which can be measured by its threshold odour number, would prompt water operators to stop their treatment system. This is to prevent the pollutants from entering the water supply distribution network. In doing so, the entire water supply is disrupted, which can affect the economy and society.”

There are proven membrane and electro-chemical technologies which can remove such pollutants. They are, however, more expensive than normal water treatment technologies.

There is a way to minimise their costs. Instead of incorporating such technologies as a permanent feature in the normal treatment system, we can deploy them on a stand-by basis to reduce any surge in the pollution levels at the water intake point.

Once the odour sensors detect worrying levels of pollutants, raw water supply will be diverted to a sophisticated treatment system for pretreatment before going through the normal system.

This will eliminate water supply disruption. The benefits of this system outweigh its costly implementation.

Disruptions to our water supply system have been occurring too often. It is time for water operators to use the right technology to mitigate problems caused by water polluters. We cannot also discount incidents of accidental pollutant discharges.

There are ways to recoup the cost of implementing such a system. One way is to get the polluting companies to pay for it. The other is to get all companies dealing with potentially polluting chemicals to contribute to the entire cost of the new system. That way, water supply disruption will be a thing of the past.


Read more @

Rural revitalisation via innovation

Thursday, September 17th, 2020
The government must continually invest in enhancing rural infrastructure. PIC BY OMAR AHMADThe government must continually invest in enhancing rural infrastructure. PIC BY OMAR AHMAD

LETTERS: In Malaysia, rural residents make up 21.6 per cent of the population. Although the number is not that high, this population disproportionately faces poverty, malnutrition and low quality of life.

Promoting strategies and investments that support the revitalisation of rural areas is not only beneficial in creating a competitive and sustainable local economy, but also vital to the social viability of the nation.

Rural revitalisation in this age should go beyond agriculture. Create non-farm markets while making technology and innovation the cornerstones of rural economic growth.

Many programmes under the Rural Development Ministry have been initiated to improve the wellbeing of rural communities, such as the support programme for rural entrepreneurship, Program Sokongan Pengukuhan Keusahawanan Luar Bandar, which is a platform that supports entrepreneurs with financial aid and service-related training and products.

While the initiatives seem to be bearing fruit, rural areas are still struggling with the lack of opportunities for rural folk, forcing many to migrate to cities in hope of a better future.

This leads to another issue — urbanisation that could cause other problems, like insufficient space for building new houses, traffic congestion and urban crime. Data shows that in 2017, nearly 75 per cent of the country’s population lived in cities, with more than seven million people living in Kuala Lumpur.

As the growth is projected to continue, the revitalisation of rural areas is much needed to prevent rural people from migrating so that they can explore the potential of rural areas and maximise the rural economy. So what can be done to revitalise rural areas?

First, the government must continually invest in enhancing rural infrastructure by improving the efficiency and availability of clean water, stable Internet, electricity supply, as well as access to small grocery stores that sell healthy and nutritious food at affordable prices.

Improving rural mobility is essential so that rural folk can easily obtain their daily needs, access services like education, health and finance, reach markets, gain income and participate in social, political and community activities.

While investment in transport has been concentrated on upgrading infrastructure, it is essential to note that the government should also focus on enhancing the quality of public transport services. Apart from that, generating other sources of income in rural areas, such as through mining, service industries and e-commerce, is vital in ramping up the rural economy.

With regard to e-commerce, since this sector is blooming amid the Covid-19 pandemic, this is the right time to undertake an extensive effort to assist rural folk in venturing into this industry.

For example, the Perkhidmatan eDagang Setempat (PeDAS) initiative, launched by the Communications and Multimedia Ministry together with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, helps local entrepreneurs market their products online.

Practical strategies to rejuvenate this programme should be planned well to further expand its functionality in helping rural populations, particularly women, youth and indigenous people, to hone their skills in e-commerce.

The government may need to inject money into this programme, so necessary action could be taken, like expanding the number of one-stop centres, known as Pusat Internet Desa or Village Internet Centre, so that more people can get equal chance in grabbing this opportunity.

by Afifah Suhaimi.

Read more @

High-income nation achievable with tech mastery, says PM

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (fourth from left) says that, the only way for Malaysia to become a high-income nation is to become a high-tech country. - NSTP/MOHD FADLI HAMZAHPrime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (fourth from left) says that, the only way for Malaysia to become a high-income nation is to become a high-tech country. – NSTP/MOHD FADLI HAMZAH

CYBERJAYA: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today launched the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) to accelerate and transform Malaysia into a high-tech and high-income nation.

The NTIS is one of the key initiatives announced under the Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana).

Muhyiddin said the NTIS can accelerate the country’s economic growth opportunities through the use of disruptive technology.

“In my opinion, the only route for us to become a high-income country is to be a high-tech nation.

“The NTIS is one of the ways for the country to accelerate its economic growth through the use of disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, drone technology, sensor technology and 5G infrastructure in its mission to resolve issues beleaguering the country.

“Among the issues include those related to dependence on foreign labour, food security risk, health care, unequal access to the internet and the digital divide.”

Present were Senior International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali; Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed; Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad.

The government through the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (MOSTI) has set aside RM100 million in funds for NTIS to fast-track the development and commercialisation of advanced projects especially those with the highest potential to boost key sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, education, travel and tourism.

This, said Muhyiddin, will subsequently reduce the country’s dependency to technology and innovation from other countries apart from increasing the productivity as well as the quality of life among the people.

He added several pilot projects have been identified to kick-start the NTIS. Among them are the Farm Assist Robot for Multi Operation (FARMO Robot) for the agriculture sector, Rehabilitation Robotics for hospitals and Linear Robotics for the use in the manufacturing sector.

“From the commercial aspect, I understand that the NTIS is able to catalyze development of innovative solutions for commercialisation purposes with expected Return of Investment (ROI) of approximately RM300 million.

“The launch of the NTIS comes at the right time since many countries around the world, including Malaysia are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As the country is in the process of recovering from the pandemic, the importance of the NTIS is undeniable and reflects the government’s commitment to revive the country’s economic growth through innovation and sophisticated technology development,” he said.

By Adib Povera.

Read more @

Special needs TVET students’ return

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

PREPARATIONS are underway to welcome polytechnic and community college special needs students back on campus after face-to-face studies were abruptly disrupted more than two months ago by the move to control the Covid-19 contagion.

This follows the announcement by the Higher Education Ministry that students under the category participating in the education programmes and Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) at polytechnics and community colleges are among those allowed to resume their studies on-campus in August.

Polytechnic and Community College Education Department curriculum development division director Noor Aidi Nadzri said the group of special needs students face challenges while learning online.

“Students with special needs in the polytechnics and community colleges under the purview of the Higher Education Ministry are students with either hearing or learning disabilities. This group of special needs students need to undergo face-to-face learning due to the ineffectiveness of virtual learning to address their special needs.

Noor Aidi Nadzri.Noor Aidi Nadzri.

“With face-to-face learning, lecturers with special training in sign language or in addressing learning disabilities will be able to teach more effectively versus virtual learning.”

There are 197 students with special needs studying at 17 polytechnics and college communities around the country.

These include those enrolled in programmes like Skills Certificate in Fashion Design and Clothing at Sultan Ibrahim Polytechnic in Johor Baru, Skills Certificate in Civil Engineering (Construction) at Ungku Omar Polytechnic in Ipoh, Certificate in Culinary Arts at Kolej Komuniti Selayang in Selangor, and Certificate in Landscaping at Kolej Komuniti Masjid Tanah in Melaka.

Noor Aidi said prior to returning to campus for the new semester, high-risk students, such as those with heart disease or are asthmatic, should obtain a health confirmation letter from a medical professional allowing them to return to campus while students with low risk are subject to health screening procedures as issued by the Health Ministry.

Special needs students require face-to-face training. Picture taken prior to the Movement Control Order.
Special needs students require face-to-face training. Picture taken prior to the Movement Control Order.

“Both categories of students need to bring along a letter of authorisation from their parent or guardian that allows them to return to campus to continue their education. For high-risk students who do not have any health confirmation letter or certificate, it is advisable not to return to campus and instead, they should postpone their studies to the following semester.”

For students who would be residing on campus, strict adherence to the standard operating procedures on social distancing and personal hygiene as issued by the National Security Council must be observed.

“Students who need to be outside the area should notify the officer in charge or the designated student representative. They need to provide details of their movement information, such as the date, time and purpose. They will be advised to use face masks while outdoors. Upon their return, their body temperature and physical condition need to be checked to make sure they don’t have fever or any other Covid-19 symptoms.”

By Rozana Sani.

Read more @

Online way to boost stem education

Sunday, May 24th, 2020
Students who can access online learning platforms will have a new window into STEM learning. -NSTP File picStudents who can access online learning platforms will have a new window into STEM learning. -NSTP File pic

THE coronavirus may have forced Malaysia’s schools to temporarily close, but when they reopen, science and technology learning will be firmly back on the government’s education agenda with the nation’s future set to be defined by STEM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

The National Council for Scientific and Research Development reported in 2018 that Malaysia would need 500,000 scientists and engineers by this year to cope with the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, at that point, it had only 70,000 registered engineers.

Exacerbating that problem is a shortage of students taking up STEM subjects at university. The government is trying to boost STEM education through its Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 that seeks an enhanced curriculum, the testing and training of teachers, and the use of blended learning models.

However, as a young country in which the average age is around 30, and with Internet penetration now as high as 82 per cent, Malaysia may have an ace up its sleeve as it seeks to bolster STEM learning in schools.

Of course, there’s no substitute for face-to-face teaching, but where schools, whether through lack of staff or resources, struggle to teach a full range of subjects such as Computer Science or Advanced Mathematics, they can look to online learning platforms to connect students to teachers around the world offering these subjects in virtual classrooms.

By leveraging cloud-based classrooms, supported by staff on the ground in schools, it is possible for Malaysia to move quickly to widen access to internationally recognised, high-quality education.

Online tools can also provide the opportunity for Malaysian schools to introduce blended learning.

These platforms, which provide teachers with entire subject courses broken down into individual lessons they can plan out, allow them to set tasks and track pupils’ progress online.

Even when a school has fully- trained teachers across all STEM subjects, using online tools to flip classrooms greatly reduces the time teachers need to spend on course preparation, marking and reporting, freeing them up to focus on teaching in the classroom and guiding the learning experience for students.

For students, this means more face-to-face time with their teachers in class, and with many learning activities done online, it means more time in school to collaborate with their peers, all of which helps increase engagement by bringing complex STEM subjects to life.

While Internet access is still not even throughout the country and with schools turning to online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic, this will only further underscore the need to close the digital divide.

The capacity of online learning to boost STEM education from an early age can play a key role in preparing the next generation of Malaysians for the rapidly-changing job market they will face.

Students who can access online learning platforms will not only have a new window into STEM learning, but also gain practical experience of collaborative, digital technologies that promote self-direction and independence in learning.

All around the world, artificial intelligence and automation are transforming the job market and rendering many of the jobs we know obsolete, while creating new jobs that could not have been imagined before.

If Malaysia’s students are to gain the skills to not only survive, but thrive in tomorrow’s world of work, they cannot afford to lose another minute.

Every day they are not receiving STEM education is a day they will never get back.

Online learning can be a powerful ally for Malaysia’s brilliant young minds as they stand ready to face a world that has just been turned upside down right at the beginning of what could have been, and still can be, a brave new decade.

By Darren Jensen.

Read more @

Conquering challenging changes

Sunday, May 3rd, 2020

SKILLS training institutes are taking the changes brought on by the movement control order (MCO) in their stride.

These changes, however, come with their own set of challenges.

For many, the headache is how they will cover a large chunk of their syllabus which comprises mainly of practical, hands-on training.

Some technical and vocational education and training (TVET) worry about keeping their colleges afloat amid the MCO but are trying their best to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.

No time to waste

Even before the JPK guidelines were issued, Keningau Vocational College, Sabah lecturer Niel Solimin has been doing video tutorials.

The vehicle transmission system lecturer did not want to waste time by delaying the migration from physical classrooms to the virtual platform.

“I give them simple skills-based practice which they can do on their own vehicles using tools they have at home.

“I add materials to my videos from YouTube and Google which I find are helpful for the students, ” he said, adding that he then shares the video links in his class Whatsapp group chat.

Among the video tutorials he’s shared include lessons on how to open and install a car’s front wheel drive shaft. Most of his students, Solimin said, work on their parents’ car to perfect their skills.

“So far, it hasn’t been difficult for them to keep up with their lessons because they can refer to the recorded videos.”

Digital training

Moving their lessons online wasn’t hard for E-Access International College (EAIC) as the skills training institute was preparing to conduct e-learning classes since last year as part of its digital transformation plans for 2020.

So, EAIC lecturers were ready when the closure of all educational institutions, and the Human Resources Ministry department of skills development’s (JPK) guideline on conducting online training and learning, were suddenly announced.

Chief operating officer Chue Wai Sum said lecturers had prepared teaching materials before the MCO was announced.

“We contacted our students soon after the announcement to start their online lessons.

“Initially, it was hard to gauge how much material we needed to prepare because we did not expect the MCO to be extended.

“But we are using this period as our opportunity to transform digitally.

The good and bad: Mosinoh said online learning and training has its limitations and disadvantages.

The good and bad: Mosinoh said online learning and training has its limitations and disadvantages.

“Before this, we hesitated as many of our students did not have access to devices, and also because the syllabus is such that 70% of it requires practical training.”

To help her students from the B40 community, Chue got them smartphones so that they could communicate with their lecturers and access the online content.

Some notes, she said, are sent to students via Whatsapp.

Video tutorials are uploaded on the college’s website, demonstrating practical training such as how to dismantle machines and vehicles.

Additional classes will be given to students once the MCO is over, she added.

Thinking about the financial effects of the closure of her college has Chue worried as no enrolments mean zero income.

She, however, is adament about focusing on the positive.

She is determined to continue providing her students with online lessons for the theory portion of the syllabus, and short videos for the practical aspects.

“We can’t achieve 100% online attendance because of problems like students having devices but no WiFi connection or mobile data to support their learning.

“At the moment, the participation rate is less than 60% but our lecturers are trying their best.”

The future is now

The closure of educational institutions is no excuse to not continue students’ learning and training, Geomatika Skill Institute chief operating officer Mazmadi Mohamad said.

E-learning is not difficult if both students and lecturers are willing to cooperate with each other.

“Students have paid for their fees and we can’t just allow them to be at home and not continue their education.

“We must start somewhere so we are teaching them the theory aspects first, which take up 30% of their syllabus.

“Once that is done, we will do the practical aspects via video.

Using tech: Chue said e-learning plans were part of her college’s digital transformation plans for 2020.Using tech: Chue said e-learning plans were part of her college’s digital transformation plans for 2020.

“It is not hard because for automotive lessons for example, most students have either cars or motorcycles at home which they can use for their practical lessson.”

Likewise, for cooking, sewing and welding, lecturers can demonstrate to students through video tutorials.

E-learning is the future, he said, adding that the skills training sector is currently bogged down by too many restrictive rules such as the one lecturer per 25 students in class requirement.

With e-learning, there is no such regulation, he said.

“We can teach as many students as we want.

“This helps skills training institutes and providers reduce their operational costs, ” he added.

As we face the fourth industrial revolution, Mazmadi said alternative teaching and learning tools aremore important than ever.

A learning curve

Still adjusting to her online lessons, a student who only wants to be known as Azrina, is finding it tough to find her footing.

The graphic design student from Meatech College, Kajang, said the conversation between students and lecturers are limited.

“It is hard for those of us who don’t have a strong Internet connection at home as it can get very stressful so I prefer face-to-face learning because when I submit my assignments, the lecturers are able to provide instant feedback while checking my work on the spot, ” she said.

The environment at home is also not conducive for online learning, the fourth of five siblings said.

While her lecturer shares design ideas through Whatsapp, she’s not used to that method of learning.

“We are now doing our final project which comprises many tasks; it is hard to do it without our lecturers beside us as we can only connect virtually.”

Similarly, Nuqman Irfan Mazli prefers face-to-face lectures.

The 20-year-old graphic design student is finding online lessons difficult as he is not used to it.

“My lectures give us assignments online. I do what I know and skip the parts I’m unsure of.

“I’m not used to it because unlike physical classes, I don’t have my lecturers or friends present to brainstorm ideas with them. “We just message each other.”

Read more @

New TVET guideline

Sunday, May 3rd, 2020

ALL theory and practical components of TVET can be conducted online if they meet the Performance Criteria and Assessment Criteria, Human Resources Ministry department of skills development (JPK) director-general Zaihan Shukri said.

These criteria which are listed in a guideline, he said, involve safety, attitude and application of equipment aspects as set out in the National Occupational Skills Standards.

Home-based skills teaching and training must:

> ensure that the teaching and learning processes are carried out as planned in a safe environment.

> be effectively implemented during the MCO period by the institutes’ management.

> be a collaborative effort between parents or guardians and the institutes to ensure the continuity of students’ training and learning despite them not attending classes.

> be conducted on the training institutes’ premises after the MCO, if it is not carried out via e-learning.

> involve appropriate learning methods based on the capabilities and readiness of the trainees; using easily accessible communication and application platforms.

The guideline was issued to public and private skills training institutes on April 13.

In early April, The Star reported that a TVET action committee representing private skills training institutions, had handed a proposal to the government with 10 suggestions to cushion the impact of Covid-19.

It had urged the government to allocate interest-free loans amounting to RM3bil to assist those badly affected by the pandemic.

The committee also appealed for the immediate implementation of online teaching and learning through platforms like Google Classroom and Telegram.

Read more @

Erase negative perceptions towards TVET

Sunday, April 26th, 2020

NEGATIVE perceptions towards Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) must stop. Erase those thoughts.

TVET should be seen as a great opportunity for our future generation to become successful in life.

It is sad to know that some, including parents, still see TVET as a path only for those who are not ‘very bright’, don’t have sufficient academic qualifications or don’t have academic interest.

All these misconceptions have resulted in many families forcing their children to study hard and apply for conventional varsity courses.

Times have changed. In today’s world, many jobs require individuals to have special skills and training which can be acquired by enrolling in TVET programmes.

TVET includes formal and informal learning that prepares young people with the knowledge and skills required in the working world.

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

Regardless of what it’s called, one common feature, according to Unesco, is that TVET, in addition to general education, is 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.

TVET education can take place at post-secondary education, higher education levels and together with the apprenticeship system.

At the post-secondary level, TVET education is often provided by highly specialised trade schools, technical schools, community colleges, colleges of further education, as well as institutes of technology.

There are numerous vocational education centres in the country including vocational schools (high schools to train skilled students), technical schools (high schools to train future engineers, for example) and vocational colleges, all of them under the Education Ministry.

Then there are polytechnics and community colleges under the Higher Education Ministry and the National Youth Skills Institutes under the Youth and Sports Ministry.

The first vocational institute in Malaysia is the Industrial Training Institute of Kuala Lumpur established in 1964 under the Human Resources Ministry’s manpower department.

TVET courses and classes are specifically designed to prepare students for steady jobs in manufacturing, business, creative fields, computer networking, agricultural and farming industries and more.

Candidates who have certified vocational skills and training can also easily find work in various job sectors in the country which are now searching for workers with such skills.

Getting a TVET education will give more room and opportunity to our youth to get jobs and create jobs in the country, which will stop our reliance on foreign workers.

Many job sectors in our country can be filled by local workers especially in the agricultural sector, construction and farming.

Having more jobs for our people will eventually bring down unemployment numbers and the migration of local talents to other countries.

The government must be serious about TVET education.

A bigger budget should be allocated to strengthen its curriculum along with its existing centres and institutions.

Our students and younger generation should be exposed at an early age to the benefits of a TVET education instead of focusing only on conventional courses offered by universities.

The Education Act 1996 (Act 550) should also be amended to make vocational schools and colleges an important part of the country’s education system.

By changing our perception towards TVET as well as giving it our continuous support to the sector, we can increase the number of youth taking it up.

This will create more skillful people, and bring progress and development to our country.

by Dr Muzaffar Syah Mallow.

Read more @

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.

Read more @