MIRI: The Chinese and Bidayuh communities seem to lack interest in technical courses offered by all 32 training centres in the country operated by the Human Resources Department Training Institute (ILJTM).
Its minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem said while other races in the country scrambled for places, there were few graduates and trainees from the Bidayuh and Chinese communities.
“I’m disappointed, being a Bidayuh myself, that despite so much publicity in the media including radio and television, there was a still lukewarm response. Out of the 793 graduates today, there are only five Bidayuhs.
“Similarly the Chinese seem to shy away from ILJTM while the Penans responded slowly — ILP Miri alone has nine Penan trainees,” Riot said at a press conference after officiating at the 13th convocation ceremony of ILJTM Sarawak Zone at the Industrial Training Institute(ILP) Miri yesterday.
Among those present were Tourism, Arts and Culture Assistant Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin, deputy secretary-general for the Ministry of Human Resources, Amir Omar (policies and international) and Datuk Mohamad Elias Abu Bakar (operation), political secretary to the Minister and ILP Miri director Rosnah Muhamad Tahir.
Riot said among the reasons for the lack of interest in Technical and Vocational Educational Training (TVET) was they consider TVET second or last choice for poor students with many Sarawakians refusing to study in Peninsular Malaysia.
“Parents and students should realise that the market demand for technical manpower is on the rise and Malaysia alone in 2020 needs 60 per cent skilled manpower for the projected 1.5 million new jobs created.We should emulate countries like Germany and Japan where blue collar workers have better pay than white collar workers. Currently a number of our skilled workers working in various industries abroad are enjoying lucrative incomes,” he said.
Parents should encourage their children who had passed the SPM exam to take up technical courses at any of the 32 ILJTM’s training institutes in the country. These centres offering 362 short and long term courses could take a total of 22,200 trainees at any one time.
The courses are free with trainees provided with hostels, food and monthly allowances besides uniforms. There are two intakes a year and those interested can apply by registering with the nearest training institute or online.