Malaysia aspires to move up the value chain to become a high-income economy, and must therefore significantly increase enrolment in technical education and vocational training (TEVT) and raise overall training quality to up skill the workforce.
Malaysia’s current workforce with tertiary education stands at 23%, while the average for Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries is nearly 28%, Singapore and Finland, as high as 35%.
Vocational education and training is very cardinal to any economic development of the country. Training in general has potential benefits which accrue to the individual, to an organization and to the country as a whole.
To an individual, training enhances their future earning potential, career progression and employability.
To the unemployed, training offers them capacities to find ways of earning a livelihood. This can be through self-employment or setting up of businesses.
At organizational level, training results in company productivity, profitability and competitiveness.
This in turn enhances its existence. With productivity and high profits, the company will contribute to the wealth of the country through taxes.
According to Asian Development Bank (2004), developing countries are not ready to move towards becoming a knowledge-based economy if the numbers of low skilled workers are large.
Economic growth at this stage witnesses an acceleration of demand for skills particularly at the higher levels, technicians and above and a corresponding decline in demand for unskilled or low-skilled production workers and craftsman.
The United States and other developed countries are eliminating hundreds of thousands of low-skill jobs.
Those jobs are replaced by machines which are controlled by computerized automated systems but they are monitored by very few knowledge workers.
On the other hand, thousands of youths in the world are seeking jobs without appropriate skills and knowledge.
(this article written for 1BINA.my)