EWRF, the Educational Welfare Research and Foundation has been involved in the promotion of government-run technical and vocational training institutes since 2008. One of EWRF’s landmark projects, the C3G (Career, Counselling & Guidance) provided good sources of information about careers and courses that can yield large returns by developing the career-related skills, self-awareness and self-esteem which may lead to rewarding choices.
Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) can give young people, especially youths the skills to compete for better-paying jobs. The economic agenda outlined in the Eleventh Malaysia Plan is expected to create 1.5 million jobs by 2020 and 60% of the jobs that will be created are expected to require TVET-related skills. Furthermore, there are 5 public technical universities that officially enrol TVET Diploma holders into Bachelor Degree programmes now!
EWRF believes in TVET as a tool that can reduce unemployment, raise incomes and improve standards of living of young people. Thus, a campaign called “JOM TVET” was launched in March 2019 to increase the visibility of TVET courses and programmes and to encourage more youths to enrol into government-run TVET institutions like Institusi Latihan Perindustrian (ILP), Advanced Technology Training Centre (ADTEC), Japan-Malaysia Technical Institute (JMTI) and many others.
EWRF collaborates with 14 nationwide ILPs that offer more than 100 types of vocational full time and part-time courses under Jabatan Tenaga Manusia (JTM), the Manpower Department in carrying out TVET promotional activities and programmes. Below are some of the advantages of joining ILPs:
In line with the mission to promote TVET to provide skilled manpower required for Malaysia by 2020, EWRF has also extensively involved in attracting and encouraging youths to take up TVET courses with Institusi Kemahiran Belia Negara (IKBN), Institusi Kemahiran Tinggi Belia Negara (IKTBN) and Kolej Komuniti (KK).
Besides organizing TVET promotional activities in secondary schools and strategizing plans to increase the enrolment, EWRF will attempt to address the student’s retention issue in goverment-run TVET institutions. The reasons why students leave institutions are many and varied. By understanding these challenges, EWRF is striving to develop initiatives and run efficient self-esteem empowering programmes in goverment-run TVET institutions to boost retention rate and help students to stay in institute until they graduate.
Upon graduating, these students will also be guided and navigated through their career pathway. They will be provided will relevant contacts and information in regards to employability and employers to support them in any ways possible as they highly sought after by potential employers.
In a nutshell, EWRF will be focusing on the 4 main components of “JOM-TVET” as illustrated below:
RECRUITMENT > ENROLMENT > RETENTION > PLACEMENT
TVET has the potential to address both challenges; closing skills gaps and reducing unemployment. However, TVET suffers from the perception that it is inferior to the academic education provided by universities. In Malaysia, our observation and findings show Indian ethnic community still holds a strong bias in favour of traditional academic degrees such as Medicine, Law and Engineering. They see TVET as the last option that is suited for students with lower aspirations or academic achievements. This negative perception must be erased to ensure the successful implementation of TVET in this country and EWRF will work hand-in-hand with the government to ensure this and the success of “JOM-TVET” Campaign.