SDG Webinar Series: Quality TVET Education for the Future – A Supply & Demand Perspective

On 10th February 2022, SDSN Malaysia in collaboration with the Economic Planning Unit of Prime Minister’s Department organized the first SDG webinar series of 2022 titled Quality TVET Education for the Future – A Supply & Demand Perspective.

Human capital is one of the key components in driving economic growth and socioeconomic development around the world and this is done through drastic improvements on education, especially at the secondary and tertiary levels. One of the foundations for this aspiration is the availability of quality TVET graduates, which is one of the 10 shifts detailed in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025. Improving the TVET ecosystem to produce future-ready talent is the game changer in the Twelfth Malaysia Plan to meet the demand of industry and contribute towards economic growth.

This webinar saw an audience of 216, with participants from public, academic, and private sectors.

The session begun with opening remarks from YB Dato’ Sri Mustapha Mohamed, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for the Economy.

In an effort to reaffirm the Government’s commitment of successfully implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and inspire all Malaysians to support this ambitious endeavor, this webinar brought together a lineup of notable experts in TVET education to discuss possible ways to push the agenda forward:

  • Dr. Shamsuri bin Abdullah, Director of TVET Coordination Division, Department of Polytechnic and Community College, Ministry of Higher Education;
  • Luqman bin Ahmad, Director of Human Capital Development Division, Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department;
  • Dato’ Dr. Ir. Andy Seo Kian Haw, Council Member cum Chairman of Industry Committee, Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor;
  • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sim Tze Ying, Head of Center for American Studies, Sunway University

The meeting discussed the strength and challenges of policy responses by the Government and initiatives undertaken by the industry and TVET providers to ensure inclusive, equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning. Each speaker also shared their insights on key actions included in the Twelfth Plan.

Mr Luqman Ahmad kicked off the discussion with his presentation on the overview of TVET agenda in Twelfth Malaysia Plan, 2021-2025. He reiterated the importance of having a strong TVET ecosystem as one of the main pillars of Malaysia’s socioeconomic development and the need to adopt a holistic initiative to create such an ecosystem.

Dr Shamsuri Abdullah presented on the governance structure of TVET at the national level. He spoke about the role of National TVET Council (MTVET), Government-Industry TVET ​ Coordination Body (GITC), and Curriculum Development Process in empowering the TVET agenda. At the very end of his speech, he urged policymakers to be more conscious of the global latest trends in vocational education including the rise of Micro-credentials (MC), the challenge of digitalization​, and the development of Structured Internship Programmes (SIP) to meet the demand of the industry.

Dato’ Dr. Ir. Andy Seo Kian Haw discussed several measures for improving TVET graduates for future workforce. He highlighted one of the main challenges is to reduce gaps between the supply and demand of TVET workforce. This can be overcome by a broad-based policy approach to support productivity catch-up through the human side. This entails providing consistent supply of TVET graduates for industries expansion and growth, mass upgrade of industry required skill sets through TVET programs, and collaborative innovation between institutions to ensure TVET graduates are industry ready.

In her presentation, Prof. Dr. Sim Tze Ying shared several concrete examples of successful programmes to equip TVET graduates with the needs of the industry. She spoke at length about Le Cordon Bleu, 42KL, iLabs Foundry, Micro-credentials programme run by Sunway Education group in collaboration with several other partners. 

The question-and-answer portion of the webinar was moderated by Professor Leong Choon Heng, Deputy Director of the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development, Sunway University. At the end of the Webinar, each speaker and the moderator reaffirmed their commitment to push for the empowerment of TVET education in parallel with the agenda of Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education.

The recording of the event can be viewed here.

Prepared by Imran Mohd Rasid