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Malaysia: Manpower Department Produces Skilled Graduates

Bernama, PUTRAJAYA, 10 December 2013 - Current statistics show that only 28 percent of Malaysia's manpower are skilled.

This percentage is low compared with countries like Singapore where skilled manpower is estimated at 52.8 percent, Finland (44.5 percent) and Australia (42.9 percent).

The Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem, referring to the statistics, was quoted as saying that the government would ensure that by 2020 more than 50 percent of the workforce would comprise of skilled manpower.

The Manpower Department Director-General Datuk Romli Hassan told Bernama in an exclusive interview that the department has established more training institutions nationwide to deal with the rapid changes in technology and fulfill the dire need for skilled manpower.

Today, the department owns 32 training institutes comprising 23 Industrial Training Institutes (ILP), eight Advanced Technology Training Centres (ADTEC) and one Japanese-Malaysian Technical Institute.


Romli said the department did not only focus on producing competitive graduates but also on ensuring that the 'end product' was industry ready.

"Studies on employer acceptance of the trainees from our institutions during industrial training for the 1/2013 session revealed that 98 percent were confident of the students' performance.

"And in 2012, some 85 percent of graduates were employed within six months of completing their studies," he said.

Romli said, to date, the institutions have produced 532,678 skilled manpower, comprising graduates of its short-term and full time courses in various fields.

Based on the marketability statistics of the department's training institutions, the public, especially parents, need to change their perception on skills or vocational training that is now the second choice for education.


"At our training institutions, we use fresh approaches to ensure the graduates we produce become skilled manpower who are also competent, of quality and meets industry needs.

"We train them to utilise the skills they have acquired to become entrepreneurs. By mastering certain skills and abilities, they are able to go further in their careers. They have not only prepared themselves to become successful workers, but competitive entrepreneurs too," he said.

Romli said a graduate's success was not measured merely by academic excellence but on a larger scale that includes good communication skills, having the right attitude, their resilience as well as knowledge, skills and experience.

"These are the qualities that we try to equip the students at our training institutions, in order to prepare them for the challenges of the working world," he said.

Besides that, he said, the department was also focusing on improving the quality of the educators at its institutions.


According to Romli, the department has also teamed up with the Human Resources Ministry and the Education Ministry under the National Blue Ocean Strategy to train students as young as 15 years old to pursue education and training at the Malaysian Vocational Diploma level.

The first phase of the programme started in July. The pioneer project offers 495 trainees for 12 courses at 11 training institutions under the Manpower Department.

The 1 Jan 2014 intake session will see another 925 students pursuing 16 courses at 14 training institutions.

"The programme gives a chance to students to pursue diploma level education and training right after PMR, for a period of four years," he said.

The department has also made its foray into the field of oil and gas technology. Four training institutions have started the academic term on the new field - the Batu Pahat ADTEC, the Pasir Gudang ILP, the Labuan ILP and the Kota Kinabalu ILP.


Romli said the department's effort to produce quality human capital had received support from various corporate entities including Petronas, Proton, Perodua, Malaysia Airlines, and Tenaga Nasional Berhad.

The department is also collaborating with accreditation agencies such as the Energy Commission, The Welding Institute (TWI), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) to enable its students to obtain professional certification from the agencies.


Romli said the department had a number of achievements in 2013 through national and international skills competition.

Participants from the department's training institutions who entered the World Skills Competition (WSC) in Leipzig, Germany won the Medallion of Excellence in refrigeration and air conditioning, plumbing and heating and welding technology.

"During the 24th International Invention, Innovation and Technology Exhibition this year, the department won three gold medals, four silver ones and three bronze medals. One of the department's inventions even received recognition from Russia," he said.

One of the department's teams which entered a national Robotics competition in May also won the Best Robot Design Award.

Romli said several of their students have also received job offers overseas in places like Doha (Qatar), Dubai (UAE) and Germany.

"These students have proven that the department has succeeded in producing entrepreneurs and student icons. It also proves to the other students that vocational education can take them far," he said.

He called on parents to change their negative perception of vocational education being the choice for those who were left behind.

Students of the vocational fields have proven that they are highly sought after by employers and are paid better because of their skills.

It is time for the public to make a paradigm shift and see vocational training a choice in education as good as any other.


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