Employability Skills Among the Students of Technical and Vocational Training Centers in Malaysia

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European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 9, Number 1 (2009)

Employability Skills Among the Students of Technical and Vocational Training Centers in Malaysia Fitrisehara Kazilan Universiti Putra Malaysia Ramlah Hamzah Corresponding Author, Associate Professor, Faculty of Educational Studies Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang Selangor, Malaysia E-mail: ramlah@educ.upm.edu.my Tel: 603-89468136; Fax: 603-89468246 Ab. Rahim Bakar Universiti Putra Malaysia Abstract The purpose of this research is to investigate the level of employability skills among the students of a technical and vocational training institutions. There are about 436 final year students from the institution were chosen as a sample of this research. The data was collected by questionnaires which was adapted from Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS). Descriptive analysis and inferences such as ANOVA, and t-test were used to analyzed the data. This finding showed that the majority of the respondents are male. Most of them pursuing education in Certificate of Skills in one of these five area of specializations: art and building, electric, electronics, automotive and mechanical. The finding indicated that the employability skills among students were average. The findings also shown that there was a significant difference between employability skills and area of specializations. There were significant difference between employability skills for basic skills and informational skills and gender. The study suggests that Technical and Vocational Educational Department should provide a curriculum which includes employment element skills which are needed by the employers. The institutions and the industry should also create a compact joint-venture for students need in order to produce higher quality workers.

Keywords: Employability skills, technical and vocational training, gender,

1. Introduction
Employability skill is a group of important skills instilled in each individual in order to produce productive workforce. This is parallel with individuals who have strong characteristics such as a high sense of self, innovative, productive, skillful, competitive, a strong sense of determination, and creative in facing the challenges of the nation as well as globalization in the 21st century. Besides that, employability skill is also crucial in all professions as well as in education (Overtoom, 2000). Lankard (1997) stated that the current working environment differs from the previous one. This is because with global competitions, cultural diversity, latest technologies and the process of new management required workers to have critical thinking, able to solve problems besides excel in 147

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 9, Number 1 (2009) communication skill. Curriculum that could fulfill the criteria as required in the job market could assist and make it easier for students to face challenges and to secure a place for themselves in employment. Along with that, a few researches had been carried out to determine the employability skill among students. One of the researches was done by De Leon and Borchers (1998) who studied on the skills required by Texas graduates to serve in production industry. De Leon and Borchers used employers as research respondents. This research emphasized on a few skills such as reading, writing, calculating, communicating, critical thinking, interaction in groups, self development, computer skilled, technical system, leadership and employability. This study found that the three most important skills required by employers are interaction in groups, employability and self development. The study done by Smith (2004) regarding the involvement of teenagers in occupations found that employers laid the importance of displayed attitudes in opting for new workers. Smith also discovered that 60% of final year students in colleges and universities in Australia worked part time in order to train...
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