Vocational training to trim dependence on foreign labour, says Dr M

PUTRAJAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad says technical and vocational education and training (TVET) will be a “game changer” for the country and help reduce its dependence on foreign labour.

He said this is because TVET will be able to produce a high-skilled local labour force.

“The government will continue efforts to develop the capabilities of the youth in TVET areas to ensure that the needs of high-tech industries are met by locals,” the prime minister said at a dialogue with industry captains at a TVET conference here today.

Also present was Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran.

Mahathir said producing a highly skilled labour force would also help attract investors.

He said TVET plays a vital role in helping Malaysia become a developed nation, on par with other developed countries.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that TVET can be considered key to the country’s development,” he added.

He said this is why the government is emphasising TVET, as it realises the demand for skilled labour in keeping pace with changes in technology.

Later, when taking questions from the floor, Mahathir said foreigners who come to Malaysia to work are willing to put in long hours.

He said locals tend to shun the construction industry, for example.

“This is despite it being able to benefit the local workforce – if they are willing to work,” he said, adding that a problem with foreign labour is the outflow of funds.