Revamping The TVET System

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The Prime Minister of Malaysia has urged the civil service to focus on implementing projects outlined in the 2024 Budget, particularly emphasizing the importance of revamping the technical and vocational training (TVET) system.

This initiative is seen as crucial for attracting quality foreign direct investments and increasing the skilled workforce to 35% by 2030, up from the current 25%. The TVET system currently comprises nearly 1,400 institutions offering over 6,000 courses, but the quality of these programs is difficult to assess.

Unemployment among graduates and youths is high, partly due to a shift towards skills-based hiring. TVET can address this by upskilling and reskilling workers, reducing labor shortages and job mismatches. The government should review TVET curriculums for industry relevance and focus on AI technologies. An apprentice system, similar to Germany’s, could be beneficial, with workers learning a trade or profession from a young age.

The Academy in Industry (AiI) by the Malaysia Productivity Corporation offers specialized training in collaboration with industries, promoting a dual system of on-the-job training and theoretical instruction. The government should consult industry leaders to ensure TVET curriculums are industry-based, and efforts should be made to change societal attitudes towards TVET, highlighting the potential for higher wages and government-recognized qualifications. Finally, the industry should also play a more active role in leading TVET initiatives, as seen in countries like Germany and Australia.

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