Making TVET main choice proving a challenge, says Maszlee

Education Minister Maszlee Malik and Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran at the TVET Empowerment: Industry Dialogue.

PUTRAJAYA: Education Minister Maszlee Malik wants people to stop viewing technical and vocational education and training (TVET) as only an alternative education pathway.

People should start seeing TVET as the main education choice, he said at the TVET Empowerment: Industry Dialogue here today.

“The main challenge right now is battling the perception and behaviour of the public towards TVET,” he said.

“We need TVET, or professional skills, to be students’ first choice of career and education.”

TVET is a training programme that provides knowledge and skills for employment, utilising formal and informal learning.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had previously said the government was placing priority on TVET to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.

“In order to achieve our shared prosperity vision by 2030, we want to make TVET one of the major enablers,” Maszlee added.

At the same dialogue, Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran questioned why TVET graduates were not getting the same treatment as those from industrial training institutes (ILPs).

“How is it that Malaysians who graduate from ILPs get S$3,000 instantly? Why are TVET graduates denied this?

“Why are we getting foreign workers to do the work?”

He said the biggest challenge now is that employers in this country are paying TVET graduates the barest minimum, when they should be paid according to their skills.

He added that the attitude of employers must change.

At the same function, Malaysian Employers Federation president Azman Shah said there were a lot of foreign workers here because the locals are choosy about jobs.

“The statistics speak for themselves as there are few Malaysians who are unemployed.

“Malaysians are already fully employed, but the point now is whether their quality of skills can be improved.”

Azman said he is very supportive of the TVET initiative to teach new skills.