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What is TVET?
Published on: Monday, October 28, 2019

TECHNICAL and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) includes formal, non-formal and informal learning that prepare young people with the knowledge and skills required in the world of work. 

According to the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (Unesco), TVET has been called many names over the years – apprenticeship training, vocational education, technical education, technical-vocational education, occupational education, vocational education and training, professional and vocational education, career and technical education, workforce education, workplace education, and others.

No matter its name, the common feature of TVET as defined by Unesco is that it involves “in addition to general education, the study of technologies and related sciences as well as the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, understanding, and knowledge relating to occupations in various sectors of economics and social life”. 

In TVET, young people have the opportunity to learn from basic to advanced levels across a wide range of institutional and work settings.

 

Did you know?

TVET programmes in Malaysia are offered at certificate, diploma, and degree levels by seven ministries that include MOHE.

According to MOHE’s Malaysia Education Blueprint (Higher Education), there will be an increase in demand for an additional 1.3 million TVET workers by 2020 in the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) identified under the government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

To meet this demand, the government has increased the development expenditure given to public TVET institutions from RM 1.8 billion in 2010 to RM 2.1 billion in 2014.

There are over 1,000 TVET institutions in Malaysia of which 506 are public institutions.

Public institutions like polytechnics, community colleges, vocational colleges and other higher learning institutions can accommodate about 230,000 students.

In 2013, out of the 429,000 students who sat for the SPM examination, 321,000 students enrolled in higher education and training programmes, with more than 50 per cent enrolling at TVET institutions.

Despite facts and figures showing that TVET graduates have high employability (e.g. 83 per cent for Kolej Vokasional graduates), it will still take a  very long time for the society to change their negative perception towards TVET.

Why does society look down on technical education?

1. In the past only those who failed in SPM took up TVET courses. Society feels that TVET courses are for students who are academically poor and for drop-outs.  

2. TVET jobs are generally low paying, especially in the initial years.  Those who become carpenters, bricklayers, electricians or technicians, generally start with an allowance or a small salary. These allowances are not much. However, after gaining work experience they can command a good salary.  With recognized certification, experience and good communication plus  people skills, income can reach 5 figures, eg like chefs, underwater welders, piping experts (O&G industry) or those operating own businesses like dressmaking, hairdressing and  beauty salon, automotive workshops, etc.

3. In the past, many TVET institutions produced graduates who were not needed by employers. Such graduates found it difficult to get jobs.  Lack of coordination between TVET institutions and the industry resulted in many graduates who found it difficult to get jobs. When they got jobs, they were underpaid. People had a low opinion on TVET courses.

 

What is the solution? 

What students don’t realise is that, they are now given a second chance to enter tertiary studies. When they completed SPM, their academic results may not be sufficient to enter a university and obtain a degree. 

But, with TVET qualification, graduates have a second chance to enter tertiary studies  and obtain a bachelors degree, masters or even a PH.D.

TVET graduates can either pursue technical (Bachelor of Technology with Malaysian Technical University Network) or management qualifications such as Professional Diploma or Executive Bachelor. 

Those who are currently employed without any proper qualifications are now encouraged to obtain  skills recognised via the Pengiktirafan Pencapaian Terdahulu (PPT/RPEL). By doing so these workers would have recognised paper qualifications. 

 

Career Tips

If you’re planning to study TVET courses, it is advisable to register at institutions  that offers recognised certification like Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM), which are also warmly welcomed in many foreign countries for employment.

If you have a career related question, please write to: krishnan@ark.com.my.

 





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