KUCHING: Sarawak must increase three-fold in technical vocational education and training (TVET) enrolment to meet the nation’s needs.
A study conducted by Universiti Sarawak Malaysia estimated that by the year 2030, more than 50% or more than 60,000 jobs will be skilled and semi-skilled jobs.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said at the current rate, Sarawak would only able to produce about 170,000 skilled workers by 2030.
“Currently there are 54 public and 35 private TVET institutions in the state with a total capacity of about 30,000 places. These institutions jointly produce an annual output of about 11,000 certificate holders in different trades,” said Adenan during his officiating speech at the World TVET Conference 2015 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK).
He said the relevance on the development of Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) was the demand for skilled workforce.
The government has set up Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputra to change the perception on TVET and promote it to many Sarawakians, especially the rural students.
“I am happy to say the perception towards TVET is slowly changing. More students and parents understand and acknowledge the value of TVET in acquiring skills and knowledge that are demanded by employers and its potential for high-income careers.
“Consequently, they are accepting TVET as the preferred choice and the enrolment in our TVET institutions has gone up from 67% in 2013 to about 85% in 2015,” he said.
It is estimated that SCORE will attract over RM300bil of investment by the year 2030. As of now, 20 companies with investments totalling RM31bil are in the various stages of setting up their operations in SCORE. Many more investors are awaiting evaluation and approval.
British High Commissioner Victoria Treadell said TVET had transformed from being a less popular educational option as compared with university to being the hottest topic in the world of education today.
“TVET holds the key to building this type of technical and entrepreneurial workforce, bring one of the most effective human resource development strategies in training and modernising our technical workforce for rapid industrialisation and global development, ensuring the right skills for the job at every level, from school leaver to team manager or master craftsman,” she said during her keynote address.
The United Kingdom is committed to skills development and invests more than £60bil in TVET each year.
Meanwhile, the World TVET conference 2015 held in BCCK which ends today, will altogether see 16 speakers, 48 presenters for 12 workshop sessions and over 20 poster presentations. The conference also features about 50 booths promoting TVET for the My Skills Fair.
With the theme “Quantum Leap: Transformation and Globalisation of Technical Vocational Education and Training – Living in the 21st Century”, the three-day conference discussed government policies, industry partnership, training centre programmes, leadership and innovation.