Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has urged industries to actively support skills competitions that aim to strengthen technical and vocational education and training (TVET), Bernama reported.
In a speech read out on her behalf by Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran, while announcing the Malaysian contingent's participation in WorldSkills Kazan 2019 (WSC) yesterday (16 April), she said the involvement of industry players in such competitions would help improve the competency and quality of skilled manpower in the country.
"This will indirectly contribute to the development of the industry itself. Industry involvement will enhance the quality of training and confidence of participants as they would gain direct exposure to current technology and real working conditions in the industry."
She added: "Investing in improving the competitiveness of the country's talent will bring returns in the future, in terms of investor confidence in certain industry sectors that achieve excellence in such competitions."
Apart from that, Dr Wan Azizah also believes participating in international skills competitions such as the WSC could have a great impact on the nation as it recognises the skills of TVET youths, benchmarks national participants at the international level and also upgrades the country's TVET.
To encourage such participation, Dr Wan Azizah urged the Malaysian Skills Competition Council, chaired by Deputy Human Resources Minister Mahfuz Omar, to coordinate all skills competition activities across levels, from both the private and public sectors.
She explained: "This is because excellence of TVET students is not only measured in terms of employability but is also measured through their participation and achievement in skills competitions either at the national or international level."
In line with that, speaking at the event, Minister Kulasegaran has stressed that TVET is "just as important now as they were in the early years after Merdeka," The Star Online reported.
"The first TVET institution in Kuala Lumpur was built in 1962, which shows how important it was towards building a new country. But along the way the system changed to give more prominence to academic (studies)."
However, he added that the training has regained its importance, with developed countries such as Germany and Japan placing greater emphasis on them with the implementation of a dual system, where students spend about 70% of their time on training and around 30% on learning experience.
Further, he said: "TVET has also become a preferred choice in India as students know they are guaranteed a job after they leave school," adding that Malaysia plans to improve on its own TVET syllabus as well, by expanding it to include computer-related subjects.