Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) includes formal, non-formal and informal learning.  It prepares young people with the knowledge and skills required in the world of work.  

According to the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (Unesco), TVET has been called many names over the years. An apprenticeship training, vocational education, technical education, technical-vocational education, occupational education, vocational education and training, and professional vocational education. It was also referred to as career and technical education, workforce education, workplace education, and others.


TVET programmes in Malaysia are offered at certificate, diploma, and degree levels by seven ministries that include MOHE.

In TVET, young people have the opportunity to learn from basic to advanced levels across a wide range of institutional and work settings. 


Did you know?

There are over 1,000 TVET institutions in Malaysia of which 506 are public institutions.

  • According to MOHE’s Malaysia Education Blueprint (Higher Education), there will be an increase in demand for an additional 1.3 million TVET workers by 2020. This will be evident in the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) identified under the government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
  • To meet this demand, the government has increased the development expenditure given to public TVET institutions from RM 1.8 billion in 2010 to RM 2.1 billion in 2014.
  • Public institutions like polytechnics, community colleges, vocational colleges and other higher learning institutions can accommodate about 230,000 students.
  • In 2013, out of the 429,000 students who sat for the SPM examination, 321,000 students enrolled in higher education and training programmes, with more than 50 per cent enrolling at TVET institutions.
  • Facts and figures show and prove that TVET graduates have high employability (e.g. 83 per cent for Kolej Vokasional graduates). However, it is often perceived that TVET institutes are inferior to degree colleges.

Why were TVET institutes considered inferior to the degree colleges?

In the past, only those who failed in SPM took up TVET courses. Many still believe that TVET courses are for students who are academically poor and for drop-outs.

It is believed that TVET jobs are generally low paying, especially in the initial years. However, after gaining work experience they can command a good salary. With recognized certification from a well-recognized institute and with good communication plus people skills, income can reach 5 figures. This can happen in no time for chefs, fashion designers, piping experts (O&G industry) or those operating their own businesses. Businesses like dressmaking, hairdressing and beauty salon, automotive workshops, etc.

Lack of coordination between TVET institutions and the industry resulted in many graduates who found it difficult to get jobs. However, with many new government initiatives that are not the case anymore. The employer now prefers locally sourced skilled employees over foreign resources or university graduates.

What is the solution?

TVET qualification provides a second chance to students to enter tertiary studies and obtain a bachelor's degree, master's or even a PhD.

If for some reason their SPM or equivalent academic results are not sufficient to enter a university. Most universities allow TVET pass-out students to join their programs and obtain degrees.

TVET graduates can either pursue technical (Bachelor of Technology with Malaysian Technical University Network).  Or management qualifications such as Professional Diploma or Executive Bachelor. 

Those who are currently employed without any proper qualifications are now encouraged to obtain skills. Skills recognised via the Pengiktirafan Pencapaian Terdahulu (PPT/RPEL) Recognition of Prior Achievement. By doing so they would have recognized paper qualifications.

Career Tips

If you’re planning to study TVET courses it is advisable to register at institutions that offer recognised certifications like Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM), which are also warmly welcomed in many foreign countries for employment.

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