The common knowledge that society places a high value on white-collar jobs has made many parents want academic success for their children as they consider vocational education – otherwise known as blue-collar jobs – the profession of the less privileged. The problem is that many institutions do not teach students the necessary hands-on career skills, contributing to fierce competition for jobs among many graduates.
A critical way to tackle this is to equip youth to be more independent and create a direct interest with employers recognised by various government bodies. Its recent allocation of RM6.6 billion to rebrand and empower TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) through the Government-Industry TVET Coordination Body (GITC).
This shows the relevance of skills knowledge amid the incorrect perception by many who consider vocational education irrelevant or an afterthought. In reality, vocational education and training have witnessed a significant upsurge in the world’s developed countries. It opens doors to a limitless array of careers in creating various employment and micro-entrepreneurship opportunities.
With the Malaysian government offering recognition to the Malaysian Vocational Diploma, vocational education will be at par with academics. This makes it a worthy career pathway to increase one’s chances of becoming employable.
Why is Vocational Education and Training Important?
For many years, vocational education programmes that prepare young people for employment suffered neglect due to the lack of avenues for career aspirations for youth. In reality, the skills needed for the workplace are beyond what is being taught in academia as technological advancements continue to impact expectations at all levels of the workplace.
Besides academic skills, the workplace also requires hands-on and practical career-specific skills that prepare students and employees for an ever-emerging workplace. With such skills, students could identify their interests and future goals. Needless to say, tertiary institutions only provide the necessary theoretical knowledge that applies to various professions.
Since vocational education and training provide a foundation for skills acquisition, career education equips students with job-specific skills. It becomes more suitable for high school or graduate students who seek an opportunity to be gainfully employed after school and youths who want to acquire enterprising hands-on skills and traits.
Do it RIGHT with WorkReady Asia!
As part of the vision of Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur (IUKL), it has joined forces with EDUK8U Grad School Asia (EGSA) to help upskill young people leaving school and or Polytechnic institutions by establishing the VirtuePayz Innovation Lab and International Career Development Centre for vocational and technical programmes on campus. This is also in line with the resolve of the Malaysian government to prioritise technical and vocational education and training to ensure development in occupational fields.
The career courses include (1) Technical Line Specialist, an industry-based programme specific to Semiconductor electronics manufacturing (the Semiconductor Industry Association forecasted sales to exceed USD 553 billion in 2021). (2) A Security Supervisor Certification with UK Standards, a programme that equips people with awareness of Responsible Business Alliance global standards, people management requirements, surveillance, and safety training skills to protect property and ensure compliance with various health, safety, and security guidelines. (3) a Payroll Certification programme equips young people with lifelong payroll processing skills. (4) the UK Level 1 Certificate in Horticulture and (5) the UK Level 1 Certificate in Hospitality.
Such vocational and technical programmes teach students skills that match business and market demand. As such, these programmes are coordinated with the labour market requirements. These programmes also have direct jobs and international working opportunities in Australia, Singapore, the Middle East, and Japan.
In summary, vocational programs offer a valuable opportunity for youth as well as unemployed graduates to acquire the exceptional skills and knowledge needed for employment. By providing hands-on training and job placement opportunities, these above mentioned programs enable individuals to jumpstart their careers and avoid the stress and uncertainty of job searching in a competitive labor market.