TVET is becoming increasingly important across Sarawak and the number of career opportunities becoming available to Sarawakians is growing rapidly. At the World TVET Conference 2015, SarawakYES! interviewed Hallman Sabri, Executive Director, Sarawak Skills Development Centre (SSDC), to hear his views on the future of TVET.
Q: Please share with us what this conference is about?
A: The World TVET conference is the biggest conference that PPKS has ever held. And the objective of this conference, first of all, is to promote the development of TVET in the country, particularly in the state of Sarawak. Secondly, this is where (there is an) intellectual discourse, intellectual exchange of ideas of how to promote and to develop TVET. That is the main concern for this conference.
Q: Why do you think the exchange of ideas, or discourse, is important for Sarawak?
A: What we should be doing here is, we are part of the government effort to tell the State or the country, that TVET is … important to the development of the nation. That is important. In developed countries, we can see they have done this for many, many, years, and we have done this but not in a systematic way.
Q: What are some of the courses that are available in Sarawak that you feel fits into the event and meet the job demand in Sarawak?
A: That’s a good question. If we can see that the SCORE itself is a testimony that we are going to be an industrialised State in Sarawak. And of this SCORE, we have 10 major industries that we’ve got to attend, and I think to fill the gap of the workers we have to equip our young generation with the technical and vocational skills so that they will be able to grab the job opportunities that will be available in Sarawak.
Q: What do you think of the readiness of the young people today.
A: We have to be realistic on this, that’s why our effort is to promote TVET. Most parents still find that TVET is a second choice education. Most parents would prefer to send their children to academic, not TVET. That’s why we have to convince, we have to inform the communities, that TVET is the answer for the future.
Q: Can you share with us the kind of facilities maybe PPKS has in place that offers proper training to students considering vocational studies?
A: Of course I’m delighted to inform you that we have been in existence for 20 years, from a small training provider that is backed by the industry. We have 60 industry members in it, we have around 30+ courses which are available and we have programs like mechanical, we have programs like mechatronic, we have civil engineering, we have plantation, we have IT, nursing, and now we are running a program on Training Aircraft Maintenance Engineer.
Q: Is there any additional support that PPKS provides for their students to prepare them for the workforce.
A: In terms of student support, the background of students that attend these courses … is that most of them can’t afford to attend the program and we have to rely on government funding for them to attend the program.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
A: We believe that TVET is the way forward in PPKS. We still find that we have lots of things to enable the young generation to take up TVET, as a choice, as a first choice education they should grab the opportunity because in the future it will be difficult to find a job that can suit the industry development of the world now. So I think we have to accept the reality that the world is changing, technology is changing and this is the answer for our future generations.