KUCHING: The state Education, Science and Technological Research Ministry aims to promote TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) and skills training as its main agenda.

Its minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong said programmes are organised annually to create greater awareness of TVET and its career prospects.

“It is an equally attractive career development pathway, but is still looked down on by society as being inferior to academic qualifications,” he said during Worldskills Malaysia Sarawak 2019 at BCCK here yesterday.

Manyin regretted that Sarawakians in general do not have high regard for careers in TVET.

“Consequently, school leavers do not place much value on TVET training. Every year, Sarawak has between 35,000 and 38,000 school leavers and about 10,000 to 15,000 of them end up working in low paying jobs with little career prospects.

“This is a huge waste of opportunities as there are multiple skills training in various trades yet there are no takers,” he said.

“Even if there were huge demands for jobs such as carpenters, plumbers and heavy vehicle drivers, the courses remain under-enrolled.”

On Worldskills Malaysia Sarawak 2019 which is organised by his ministry once in two years, the programme is regarded as the Olympics of Skills and organised under the auspices of WorldSkills International, a global organisation of 76 nations that are dedicated to raise the profile and recognition of skilled people and highlight its significance in achieving economic growth and personal success.