SPM leavers: Why TVET should be your path to success?

It has long been believed that pursuing higher education through academic courses after Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) would guarantee a stable career with high wages.

However, it is essential to delve deeper into the sustainability of this academic pathway in accommodating the increasing number of graduates in such fields.

Malaysia is still struggling to meet the demand for high-skilled workers, hindering the country’s economic progress.

As of May 2023, the majority of jobs (62.4%) fell into the semi-skilled category, with 5.49 million positions.

The skilled category ranked second at 24.9%, comprising 2.20 million jobs. A mere 12.7% of jobs (1.12 million) were classified as low-skilled, according to the Malaysia Department of Statistics.

This statistic falls short when compared to other Asian countries like South Korea, Singapore, and China, which have a higher proportion of high-skilled labourers.

To address this issue, an immediate and radical shift is necessary, with increased emphasis on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to produce more high-skilled workers.

Transforming Malaysia from a consumer nation to a production nation requires prioritising this shift.

These are the key reasons why young people, especially SPM leavers, should consider TVET as their educational and career pathway:

1) Filling the skills gap in the labour market

TVET can bridge the skills gap in the job market, opening up a wide range of career opportunities while facilitating lifelong learning and career development.

Many countries, particularly in Europe, have recognised the importance of incorporating TVET into their national syllabi.

They have successfully employed this strategy to cultivate their youth and prepare them for the realities of the modern business world.

As the workforce expands and transforms, the demand for skilled individuals in specific areas also grows. Therefore, strengthening TVET is crucial.

This scenario demands attention because Malaysia must increase the number of highly skilled workers to more than 35% by 2030 to compete with other developed countries.

2) Financial aid and affordability

TVET programmes often have shorter durations compared to conventional academic pathways. The shorter time frame increases the likelihood of students completing the course.

The Malaysian government recognises the pivotal role of TVET in driving economic growth and has taken steps to support and promote TVET education.

Substantial funds are allocated to TVET institutions, effectively reducing costs for students. For instance, the government channels RM6.7 billion to seven key ministries for the implementation of various Technical & Vocational Education and Training (TVET) initiatives.

Moreover, TVET programmes in Malaysia often receive subsidies from the government, resulting in lower tuition fees compared to academic programmes offered by traditional universities.

These subsidies make TVET education more accessible and affordable for students. For instance, at Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), eligible students can apply for the Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) loan, and some programmes even offer MARA scholarships, such as the Young Talent Development Programme (YTP).

TVET institutions in Malaysia, including UniKL, actively collaborate with industries and businesses.

This collaboration helps secure funding, sponsorships, and scholarships for students pursuing TVET programmes.

Industry partnerships also create opportunities for internships, job placements, and practical training, further reducing the financial burden on students.

3) Opportunities for entrepreneurship

TVET education in Malaysia nurtures entrepreneurial skills, empowering individuals to establish their own businesses or become self-employed in specialised fields.

By gaining technical expertise and practical knowledge, TVET graduates are well-equipped to create their own job opportunities and contribute to Malaysia’s economic growth.

UniKL, for example, offers entrepreneurship courses and programmes that provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to start and manage their own businesses.

These courses cover various aspects of entrepreneurship, including business planning, marketing, finance, and innovation.

The university also organises entrepreneurship competitions and challenges, such as Technofests, to foster a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship among students.

These events serve as platforms for students to showcase their business ideas, receive feedback from industry experts, and gain exposure to potential investors.

As Malaysia endeavours to meet the demands of a rapidly changing job market, TVET emerges as a promising pathway for Malaysian youth.

By filling the skills gap, offering financial aid and affordability, and fostering entrepreneurship, TVET equips students with practical skills, expands their career prospects, and empowers them to contribute to the nation’s economic growth.


1016, Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur

+603 - 2175 4000

+603 - 2175 4001


MOE Registration Certification No: DU011(W)

UniKL website developed & managed by
Corporate Branding & Strategic Communication
Department (CBSCD)

Share This