KOTA KINABALU 21/10/2012: Skills education is equally important and should no longer be the second choice for students and parents, according to the director-general of Manpower Department of the Human Resource Ministry, Datuk Romli Haji Hassan.
Speaking to reporters after the 8th convocation of Institusi Latihan Jabatan Tenaga Manusia (ILJTM) East Region for Sabah and Labuan FT zone in Sepanggar yesterday, Romli said that the mindset must be changed.
“Skills education is unlike the formal academic education which takes longer. In skills education, the number of students in a class is limited to about 15 so they get more attention from their lecturers.
“Then most of the graduates from training institutes like ILJTM and Institute Latihan Politeknik (ILP) are usually snapped up by prospective employers as soon as they complete their courses and if they are really good in what they do, they will command high salary,” he stressed.
Romli disclosed that there is even an ILJTM graduate of the pipe and gas course who currently commands a salary of RM7,000 a month and added, the initial wages during the probationary period may not be high but the remuneration after confirmation would be assessed according to the skill of the individual.
He went on to urge parents and students to consider opting for further education in skills training instead of pursuing for the academic study.
In Sabah, there are about 12,500 employment opportunities available in the Sabah Development Corridor so youths in the state must not let this opportunity slip away, he pointed out.
Romli also expressed hope to see more corporate companies collaborating with ILJTM in a knowledge exchange programme in the pursuit to produce more skilled workers for the country.
The companies currently working with ILJTM are Petronas, SESB and Celcom Axiata, he said.
In his speech earlier, Romli said 711 students from ILP Kota Kinabalu, ILP Sandakan and ILP Labuan FT graduated after completing various certificate courses yesterday.
He added that 57 per cent of ILJTM’s 6,000 graduates produced annually have secured jobs while another 12 per cent have yet to be employed with 24 per cent opting to pursue further studies at the diploma level while a small group have turned down jobs offered to them.
“Those who rejected the offers make up about eight per cent of the total and there are various reasons attributing them to rejecting the job offers and these include logistics, wrong field, low salary and also because of emotional reason, where they did not want to be away from their families,” he said.
He further said that applications for entry into the ILP Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Labuan FT for the new session of 2013 are now open and applications can be submitted on line.
At the convocation, Amran Naim from Kota Belud was awarded with the ILJTM’s special award for his achievements and contributions to ILP Labuan which included attaining the Excellence Certificate at the Malaysia Skills Competition 2012, obtaining second place in the Asean Skills Competition 2011 and representing Malaysia at the Asean Skills Competition in Jakarta next month.
Amran was however personally unable to attend his convocation as he is currently preparing for the November competition.
His father, Naim Sungko accepted the award on his behalf.
by Nancy Lai