(File pix) Education ministry aims to produce skilled and semi-skilled graduates, and usher 70 per cent into the workforce, 20 per cent into higher education institutions and another 10 percent to become business owners.

KUALA LUMPUR: Ninety per cent of 2,273 vocational college students who graduated last year have managed to secure a job according to their field of study, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said today.

Mahdzir said the students, who graduated in Aug 2016 from 15 pilot vocational colleges, received job offers which were in line with the Education Ministry’s Transformasi Pendidikan Vokasional (Vocational Education Transformation) aims.

He said that the ministry aims to produce skilled and semi-skilled graduates, and usher 70 per cent into the workforce, 20 per cent into higher education institutions and another 10 percent to become business owners.

“For example, with the graduates of 2013, 41 per cent of the 12,997 students were able to secure their profession (of choice) before their convocation – which shows that the students had obtained skills recognised by their respective industries,” Mahdzir said.

“All the 16 programmes for diploma studies at the 15 vocational colleges are in the process of being accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), which, hopefully, will be approved this December. We are working closely with the Higher Education Ministry to ensure these vocational students can pursue their degree.

“Currently, there are two ways for vocational students to apply for their degrees by the MQA, which is through the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) and direct application to the universities,” Mahdzir said in replying to a question from Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (Baling-BN) on the market value of vocational students, if those students are able to further studies for vocational college diplomas.

Mahdzir also said that vocational college graduates are able to continue their studies at public and private universities by submitting their application with an approval letter by the Education Ministry.