• Madani Sahari

Lifelong learning way forward for automotive skills development

Economic advancement of a developing nation depends largely on its manpower development initiatives. In this respect, sound planning and implementation of the manpower “Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)” will help to elevate the skills and competencies of workers in their respective workplaces.

The recent government budget for 2016 saw a serious attention given towards the enhancement of TVET, where some RM4.8 billion to be allocated to 545 TVET institutions.

Priority given to the TVET programme is a right move on the part of the government so as to achieve the targeted 60 per cent of the 1.5 million new workers to be created by 2020 that are TVET skilled.

Creativity and innovativeness of a workforce is paramount in an industrious developed nation. These human intuitions are rarely achieved within a nation workforce without appropriate industrial exposure and multiskilling development during the early stage of their TVET training and later in their working lives.

Job hopping among workers may be perceived as their process of multiskilling acquisition but more often the end result made the person a generalist skilled worker without in-depth skills and knowledge of specific areas of work or technique.

A motorcar mechanic regularly moving from one workshop to another for his employment rarely able to focus on any specific skill on vehicle repair and maintenance job, while an individual who spent a longer term of employment on gearbox repair and maintenance, for example, will eventually become a gearbox specialist able not only to repair but innovates new gearbox concept for a vehicle.

The lifelong learning concept must be promoted to our younger generation entering the workforce. Lifelong learning can instill creativity, innovativeness, commitment and responsiveness in the workers thereby enabling them to adapt in workplaces.

However, the essence of a lifelong learning must be quantified from time to time acknowledging an individual of his or her level of achievements. A national recognition through certification scheme is the best means to regulate this endeavor.

In this respect the Department of Skills Development (JPK), Ministry of Human Resources has, since 1996, introduced a Recognition of Prior Achievement or “Pertauliahan Percapaian Terdahulu (PPT)”, certification scheme to recognize skilled workers emphasizing on the lifelong learning concept.

Individuals who are able to demonstrate skills, as outlined in the National Occupational Skills Standards (NOSS), based on previous experience and achievement held can be awarded the Malaysia Skills Certification (SKM) at various levels accordingly.

Having been appointed as an “industry lead body (ILB)” by the JPK, the Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) is now serving on behalf of JPK as an avenue for automotive employees wishing to be certified under the PPT programme.

The programme offers to certify employees with a minimum of 4 years working experience in automotive related field recognized by the NOSS.

The participants are required to submit their respective portfolio demonstrating their experiences with proven documentation certified by their respective current and previous employers.

The documentations are in turn to be verified by JPK appointed external verification officer as true evidences of their experiences.

In the last couple of years MAI has successfully implemented the PPT programme recommending numerous workers in automotive repair and maintenance establishments and parts and components manufacturing companies for SKM certification of various levels.

The exercise not only able to enhance the sense of achievement amongst the certified workers but at the same time MAI is able to establish close rapport with the skilled automotive workers for future manpower skills enhancement programmes.

MAI looks forward for more automotive establishments and individual participants interested in the PPT programme.

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