Human resources are more important for both industrialized situations and places where there are limited natural resources.
The evidence is that the water-locked countries of Singapore and Japan, and a land-locked country, Switzerland, made tremendous economic development with human resources rather than with natural resources (Sie, 1992).
A empirical research conducted by Mustapha in 1999 (The role of vocational and technical education in the industrialization of Malaysia as perceived by educators and employers) on the perceptions of Malaysian employers regarding employability and workplace literacy was found that employers believed that the completers of vocational and technical programs had better employment opportunities than completers of academic programs.
Employers indicated that vocational and technical graduates possessed necessary technical skills.
Technical competencies were perceived by Malaysian employers as the most important knowledge and skills that vocational and technical graduates should possess.
The employment rate for graduates of China’s vocational schools reached 96.56 percent in 2010, statistics from the China’s Ministry of Education stated. Out of the 6.59 million students who graduated from vocational schools, 6.36 million have found jobs.
The purpose of TEVT is to increase the skilled human capital base in Malaysia by providing quality education to learners who possess keen interest, ability and talent in the technical and vocational fields.
TEVT aims to provide skills that will be immediately applicable in the labour market.
TEVT skills benefit employees and employers directly and also benefit the specific industrial sector with the distribution of benefits dependent on the mix of skills acquired.
Therefore, the intention is for costs associated with TEVT to be shared among government, employers, the industry and individual students according to the benefits obtained.
In the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP), four strategies are adopted to broaden access to quality TEVT.
The first strategy would be in improving perception of TEVT and attract more trainees, whereby the focus would be to improve the value proposition and attractiveness of TEVT to prospective students, training providers and the industry.
The second strategy calls for developing highly effective instructors where the career progression path for TEVT instructors will be accelerated to make TEVT teaching an attractive career option.
The third strategy is on upgrading and harmonising TEVT Curriculum quality in line with industry requirements and here, the Department of Skills Development will be designated as the agency to develop and standardise TEVT curriculum starting in 2011.
The last strategy — streamlining the delivery of TEVT, the government will among others provide financial assistance to students to study at Malaysian Skills Certificate Level 3 and above at high-performing public TEVT institutions.
Given the immense scientific, technological and socio-economic development, either in progress or envisaged, which characterizes the present era, particularly globalization and the revolution in information and communication technology, TEVT should be a vital aspect of the educational process.
It should contribute to the achievement of the societal goals of greater democratization and social, cultural and economic development.
At the same time developing the potential of all individuals, both men and women, for active participation in the establishment and implementation of these goals, regardless of religion, race and age.
(this article written for 1BINA.my)