Sarawakians looking down on TVET, laments Sarawak minister

TVET training and qualifications are looked down upon by many Sarawak parents as being inferior to academic qualifications. (Bernama pic)

KUCHING: Sarawakians do not have high regard for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) qualifications, a state minister said today.

State Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Michael Manyin said TVET training and qualifications were looked down upon by parents as being inferior to academic qualifications.

School leavers also did not place much value on TVET training, he said during the closing ceremony of Worldskill Malaysia Sarawak 2019.

“Every year, Sarawak has between 35,000 and 38,000 school leavers with SPM qualifications and of these only about 20,000 to 25,000 further their studies in tertiary institutions or do skills training in TVET institutions.

Michael Manyin.

“Between 10,000 and 15,000 of these SPM school leavers do not undertake any further studies or training and enter directly into the job market often doing jobs that pay low wages and have little prospect for advancement,” he said.

Manyin said even though there was a huge demand for skilled workers and there were institutions offering courses in these trades, most of them were either under enrolled or had no takers.

Therefore, he said, it was the state education, science and technological research ministry’s main agenda to promote TVET and skills training as an equally attractive career development pathway.

Among the initiatives taken were through the Sarawak career and training fair, TVET symposium and TVET camps.

Another key programme by his ministry to raise the status of TVET was through the Worldskill Malaysia Sarawak competition, which is organised once in two years, he said.

The Worldskill Malaysia Sarawak was held to recognise and acknowledge the skills and competencies of Sarawak’s youths and to raise awareness about the value of vocational education and training as well as careers for those with skills training.