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Budget 2024: Youths want upswing in skills, produce more TVET graduates

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Youths expressed hope that the government can further expand and strengthen the field of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), to equip them with relevant skills in line with current career needs.

They also want the government to gradually increase the minimum wage in Budget 2024, which will be tabled on October 13, to increase youth enthusiasm to enter the job market, while also contributing to the country’s economic development.

Sukarelawan Muda Wilayah Persekutuan (YOU4WP) chairman, Am Amar Izzuden Hamidun, said that strengthening TVET with attractive salary offers is one of the methods of supporting and recognising those in the age group, who are less keen on furthering their studies in institutions of higher learning.

“TVET skills also provide great benefits. Hence, the government needs to consider expanding this programme and giving more recognition to the youth, as well as improving their skills,” he told Bernama today.

In addition, he said that financial assistance or grants given to youths could also be considered, to help this group venture into startup entrepreneurship or strengthen existing businesses.

“Not to make them rich, but to make them resilient in today’s challenging economy. There may be young entrepreneurs who have difficulty maintaining their business, so the government can help their survival,” he said.

Am Amar Izzuden also said that it is important to ensure that the salary offered to young people is commensurate with their qualifications.

Meanwhile, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Sociology student Nazir Shah Mohd, 24, hopes that the government will provide a relevant budget for the development and empowerment of youth communities from minority groups.

“Community development and empowerment not only involves the low-income majority group but also takes into account the existence of minority groups such as the Orang Asli, the urban poor and children without documentation, who are often marginalised and isolated.

“Their access to education and healthcare, and even appropriate infrastructure, is often neglected. Therefore, appropriate allocations should be given to create easy access for these groups,” he told Bernama.

He also hopes that intellectual development among the younger generation will also be developed, in parallel with the fields of cultural education, arts and heritage.

“The government can re-establish the MyBrain programme, to produce more scholars who are able to contribute back to the country, in addition to money channelled to ease the burden of students,” he said.

Putra Business School’s Master of Business Administration programme director, Associate Professor Dr Ahmed Razman Abdul Latiff, also suggested that the government continue to empower education in Budget 2024, by allocating the highest expenditure, similar to the previous year.

“This will help to produce competitive human capital, especially youths, who are the backbone and driving force of the country’s economy.

“Emphasis should be given to the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, so that more youths are interested in studying it, but at the same time opportunities for youths to improve their skills through TVET should also be created,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.

Ahmed Razman said that, in the era of the digital economy, although many young people venture into the gig economy, he hopes jobs in this sector will be given more added value, including the aspect of high-level skills.

“It is hoped that we can see more opportunities for youths to increase their income by training in higher skills, such as programming, design, creative media and the like,” he said. — Bernama