Malaysia sollte eine Kultur pflegen, die berufliche Bildung stärker schätzt

Die Regierung Malaysias tut ihr Bestes, um durch das "Higher Education Ministry's career-advancement programme" die Arbeitslosigkeit zu verringern. Aber die Regierung sollte deutsche und schweizerische Ansätze in der Berufsbildung stärker berücksichtigen.

We should nurture a culture that values vocational education

To say that Covid-19 has wreaked havoc all over the world — from slumping economies to pushing healthcare infrastructure to the brink of collapse — is an understatement.

While countries around the globe suffer health crisis and economic loss, a similar picture prevails in Malaysia, thankfully with much lower severity.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad reported back in September that the estimated number of graduates facing challenges in securing jobs within six months of graduation is 75,000.

The government is doing its level best through the Higher Education Ministry's career-advancement programmeto ease graduate unemployment by better job matching, reskilling, upskilling and offering grants for further education.

It is not just the graduates who face a bleak future. It is also the employees who have been retrenched, especially in the sectors related to tourism such as aviation and hotel. Most of them are turning to the gig economy — driving Grab cars and exploring entrepreneurship in food and beverage — to make ends meet.

On Nov 3, this newspaper published an article about a pilot losing his job. He has since ventured into selling food to manage his expenses. Similar stories are often heard in neighbourhoods and communities.

Besides unemployment and retrenchment, the country is also facing underemployment. This condition arises because some groups of employees are required to work fewer hours due to the slowdown in business.

Under the 2021 Budget, the government allocated RM2 billion to continue the Penjana scheme by focusing on inclusivity and well-being. Additionally, to alleviate the plight of the unemployed, wage subsidies and living aid for vulnerable groups have been allocated.

Other provisions in the budget to improve the well-being of the people are the generous allocations for healthcare, education and creating and retaining jobs.

It is commendable that the government has reoriented its focus on technical and vocational education and training (TVET) to reskill and upskill the employed as well as the unemployed, especially in the critical skills demanded by the fourth industrial revolution.

Germany and Switzerland are advanced in vocational education. Such education feeds talent to their small- and medium-sized enterprises or mittelstand. The government could profitably benchmark the German and Swiss approaches as it redoubles its efforts in TVET.

Another remarkable feature of German and Swiss societies is that they value vocational education as much as an academic one. As a society, we too should nurture a culture that values vocational education as the fourth industrial revolution demands employable skills even as it destroys numerous existing jobs by 2030.

As citizens we also have a role to play in putting the nation back on track to economic recovery and development. We need to be enterprising to cultivate the needed practical skills of the fourth industrial revolution.

We are at war. We are fighting a pandemic that has brought a scale of destruction never witnessed for nearly a century since the Great Depression. In times of war, doing what it takes to keep going is more important.

Any job or skill is dignified so long as it is a means of income generated through honesty, dedication and hard work. We, have a responsibility not to look down, ridicule or embarrass fellow Malaysians merely because they are using more brawn than brain.

  • The writer is an associate professor at Putra Business School

Quelle: New Straits Times,, 12.11.2020