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FMM questions govt involving private sector in TVET programme

FMM In  The News: MALAYSIAKINI, Friday, February 3, 2023 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has questioned the government’s decision to work with private companies for its Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme.

This follows yesterday’s announcement by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim that the government will cooperate with the private sector in its TVET programme to address the issue of talent mismatch.

FMM explained they were confused by the move, saying that TVET is already being managed by the National TVET Council (MTVET) and the Government-Industry TVET Coordination Body (GITC) which was established by the council to empower the TVET ecosystem.

“FMM concurs with the prime minister on the need for the government to partner with industry (players) to address graduates’ skills mismatch.

“In fact, it is even more important that TVET should be industry-led to ensure relevant courses are being taught and that they meet the demands of the industry.

“We are, however, confused with the change in the leadership direction of not continuing with the MTVET and consequently the GITC,” said FMM president Soh Thian Lai in a statement today.

Soh said the GITC and MTVET were responsible for enhancing industry-institution cooperation through curriculum development, research, resource sharing, technology, and expertise.

He added that since its implementation, the GITC has already been incorporated as a legal entity under the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) as it was tasked to work with the government to achieve an industry-led TVET ecosystem.

Furthermore, Soh lamented that, after the prime minister’s announcement, the future of the MTVET and GITC is unclear.

“There is, however, no clarity at the current juncture on the future of the MTVET and GITC and the TVET policies being pursued by the new government.

“In addition, there has been no engagement with critical partners involved in ongoing initiatives under MTVET and this has somewhat led to a great sense of frustration and disappointment amongst the parties involved including the FMM,” he said.

Soh said that, in the long term, for the TVET programme to meet the increasing demand for highly skilled workers, it should be driven by a TVET commission governed by an act of Parliament.

“(The commission can) overcome the current fragmentation, standardise training, improve cost-effectiveness, (ensure) quality assurance and recognition of prior learning, and build the brand and recognition of TVET as the career of choice for students and parents,” he said.

GTIC’s formation was approved last year by the previous federal government. Then prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the body would be involved directly in the development of TVET human capital, especially in boosting skills and worker numbers.

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