WHEN we first highlighted technical vocational education and training (TVet), Sarawak had implemented various measures to prepare youths for an employment market in need of a technically-capable workforce.
We noted that young Sarawakians should pick up technical and vocational skills because of the increasing supply of jobs, which not only affords a lucrative salary, but also acts as a foundation for entrepreneurship skills.
Since then, we have seen more Tvet institutions at education and industry fairs, reflecting the growing acceptance of Tvet as a first option for school-leavers.
In fact, according to the Graduate Tracer Study 2016 conducted by Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia, TVet graduates have higher marketability rates than graduates from the other institutions of higher learning.
The study involving 224,575 graduates showed that marketability for graduates from community colleges was at 97.2 per cent and 88.6 per cent for graduates from polytechnics, compared to 77.2 per cent for graduates from other institutions of higher learning.
The study also found that in terms of fields of study, technical graduates accounted for the second highest employability rate at 80.2 per cent; behind education graduates (88.3 per cent) and ahead of ICT graduates (78.4 per cent).
As pointed out by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), having a strong TVet policy for a country is important in order to avoid economic stagnation, because it stated that skills are vital for poverty reduction, economic recovery and sustainable development by promoting innovation and productivity within industries.
With the Malaysian government allocating RM4.6 billion to TVet institutions in Budget 2017 and declaring this the Year of TVet, the urgency for a competent technical workforce is greater than ever.
Sarawak in particular requires around 500,000 technical workers in the next 10 years, as it transforms towards becoming an industrialised state.
Therefore, if you have the passion to pursue a technical career, you should consider taking the TVet pathway.
Depending on the field of study or training you choose to embark on, in most cases TVet courses are shorter than the conventional degree courses in colleges and universities.
Added with on-the-job experience, your skills will certainly make you a very attractive pick for potential employers once you graduate.
This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
The Borneo Post Online