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Malaysia: New perception of technical, vocational training needed

Borneo Post, Kuching, 25 October 2013 - It is imperative for Malaysians to change their negative perception of technical and vocational training for the country to achieve developed nation status by year 2020.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Richard Riot Jaem said the biggest hurdle today was still the social stigma attached to skills training as opposed to academic qualifications.

“Most people take up technical and vocational education as second choice or last resort. This is evident as only a small percentage of students are sent for technical courses though many vocational training institutions have been set up all over the country,” he said.

He said this negative perception of technical and vocational training should be discarded as the government is stressing on skills training to meet the demand in various industries.

Riot’s text of speech was read by Human Resource Department director-general Datuk Romli Hassan at the 9th convocation ceremony of the Human Resource Department Training Institute (ILJTM) Sarawak Zone at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here yesterday.

He said the government aimed to have 50 per cent skilled human capital by 2020 to achieve developed nation status.

Presently, the country’s manpower with technical and vocational skills is only 28 per cent.

Riot, who is Serian MP, said demand for skilled workforce was equally pressing for Sarawak especially upon full implementation of SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy).

“Once SCORE goes into full steam it is estimated that it will require around 300,000 skilled workers and we should be ready to meet the demand.

“We don’t want to rely on cheap unskilled foreign labour as the number has increased by two folds to 1.9 million people since 2000,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ceremony yesterday saw the graduation of 649 students from Kota Samarahan and Miri industrial training institutes (ILP) who received their certificates from Romli. Riot reminded the new grads that graduation was not the end of learning for them.

He advised them to increase their knowledge and skills to be competitive, creative, innovative and honest workers.

According to him, in this era of the borderless world it was easy to get information via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media tools to increase their knowledge.

He suggested that students take advantage of the accessibility they have to increase their marketability for job placement.

Also present at the convocation ceremony yesterday was ILJTM Wilayah Timur chairman Dr Ramli Rashidi.


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