TVET: the heart of the nation’s workforce

06/10/2022 09:38 AM
Opinions on topical issues from thought leaders, columnists and editors.
By :
I.M. Nasir

Technical and Vocational Education and Training, more commonly known as TVET, had previously assumed various persona, including career and technical education, apprenticeship training, and professional and vocational education, to name a few.

No matter what the nomenclature, it essentially involves, by UNESCO’s definition, ‘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’. This includes digital skills, which have become the language of the modern economy, and, as stated in the Global Skills Report 2022, has a larger student following in developing countries.

TVET in Malaysia has had a history since the beginning of the 20th century, with the first technical school built as early as 1906. Fast forward to 1969, the first polytechnic, Politeknik Ungku Omar, was built, following the absorption of TVET into the education system post-Razak Report of 1956. At present, TVET is offered by both public and private institutions under the purview of 11 different ministries offering degree, diploma and skills certificates.

With the skills crunch post-pandemic strongly impacting the nation’s growth potential, ‘Education & TVET’ has been identified as one of the eight enablers in meeting the aspirations of the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030. Targets include at least 60 per cent of SPM leavers pursuing TVET fields with programme offerings specifically tailored to the needs of the industries.

This is mirrored again in the 12th Malaysia Plan, with TVET identified as one of the 14 drivers of change, developing future-ready talents through raising the quality of education, strengthening governance, leveraging on emerging technologies and ensuring equitable learning outcomes.

Fortification of national TVET agenda

In a continuous effort to produce high-quality and highly skilled human capital, the plan has been instrumental in the fortification of the national TVET agenda. This includes the Ministry of Education’s roadmap on graduate marketability 2021-2025 launched in October of 2021, called the National Graduate Employability Blueprint 2021-2025. This serves as a guideline to public and private institutions on preparing graduates with the right qualities for the workforce and contributing to the nation’s economy. TVET was also rebranded, and now carries the slogan ‘TVET Pilihan Utama Kerjaya’ (TVET Main Career Choice)

The formation of the National TVET Council encapsulates the essence of the TVET fortification agenda, with the Prime Minister announcing at the launching of ‘Minggu TVET Negara’ (National TVET Week) and the celebration of June 2 as National TVET Day. TVET was also rebranded as the education of choice, harmonising with one of the three strategies of the fortification agenda, ‘TVET Shaping the Future’ (‘TVET Mencorak Masa Depan’).

In the first phase, 14 TVET collaboration hubs (TCH) with 14 focus areas have been identified to push the strategic collaboration ecosystem model between the industry, TVET institutions and the Government. Five focus groups were established to execute the TVET strategies, each with different responsibilities: governance, financing, branding, quality, and industry.

All that is required now is the strong collaboration between the stakeholders to bolster the necessary skills and capabilities and drive the nation forward.


I.M. Nasir is Vice-President of MIGHT and Head of the Industry Focus Group, National TVET Council.

(The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy or position of BERNAMA)