Skills Challenge Innovation Call

Five awards up for grabs for equality and diversity prototypes in Malaysia’s TVET

The ILO’s 1st Malaysia Skills Challenge Innovation Call searches for innovative ideas and solutions to enhance gender equality and social inclusion in TVET and training institutions.

Press release | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 29 July 2022
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (ILO News) - The International Labour Organization (ILO) today kicked off the 1st Malaysia Skills Challenge Innovation Call, searching for innovative and sustainable solutions that promote gender equality and social inclusion in public and non-profit technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and skills training institutions.

The ILO’s Skills for Prosperity Programme in Malaysia, funded by the UK government, co-organizes the challenge call with the Department of Skills Development (DSD) of Malaysia’s Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS).

The call seeks to recognize Malaysian champions of integrating gender equality and social inclusion into TVET or skills training programmes. It also aims to create positive spill-over effects to other institutions.

The call is looking for solutions that improve the promotion and accessibility of programmes for vulnerable groups and put in place inclusive policies to decrease the likelihood of dropouts. Solutions can also include ideas that enhance the engagement of students and trainees and strengthen career and vocational guidance and counselling services.

Five winning places are up for grabs. Each winning proposal will get a seed grant of up to US$20,000 and technical support to transform their ideas into prototypes ready for implementation and then sharing with other institutions in Malaysia and beyond.

The winners will also have a chance to join the ILO Skills Innovation Network to share ideas and experiences with other innovators around the world and collaborate with them to develop and scale their innovations.

The deadline for applications is 17 August 2022. The winners will be announced on 9 September 2022. Many institutions interested in the contest today joined an e-townhall meeting and an online workshop that provided orientation about the challenge call and the development of their proposals.

Panudda Boonpala, ILO Deputy Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, said: “As we are finally moving to the endemic stage of COVID-19, promoting gender equality and social inclusion in TVET and skills training can help us better achieve a human-centred recovery and inclusive growth.”

She added that it will contribute to the 12th Malaysia Plan’s objective of “a Prosperous, Inclusive, Sustainable Malaysia”.

Ms Panudda added that the diversity of talents brought by gender equality and social inclusion will promote innovation and enhance productivity for further growth.

“This will also accelerate the utilization of digital technologies and enable TVET to fulfil its role as a game-changer for improving the TVET ecosystem to produce future-ready talent”, said Ms Panudda.

David Wallace, Deputy High Commissioner of the British High Commission Malaysia, said: “Investing in education for more inclusivity is not only morally important, but makes sense economically. As the working landscape continues to evolve, vocational and skills training is a key way in which we can ensure women and people with disabilities are part of this change.”

Mr Wallace added that he hopes the UK-Malaysia Skills for Prosperity Partnership will help improve jobs and livelihoods for Malaysians, particularly those from economically and socially disadvantaged groups.

“The UK is keen to continue this rewarding partnership to support Malaysia’s transition to become a high-income economy in a sustainably and inclusively way,” said Mr Wallace.

Mohamad bin Sulaiman, Deputy Director General (Development) of the Department of Skills Development, said: “Department of Skills Development, Ministry of Human Resources strongly supports the 1st Malaysia Skills Challenge Innovation Call, in view of its importance in promoting accessibility in technical and vocational education and training and significant contribution in improving gender equality and social inclusion in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the 12th Malaysia Plan."

Referring to the challenge call, Azmi Ahmad, Deputy Director of Skills, Youth Skills Development Division, Ministry of Youth and Sports said: “It will be a platform to search for TVET and skills training institutions which develop and implement innovative approaches and solutions that promote equality and diversity in each organization and training programmes.”

Interested institutions can submit the application form along with a 90-second video, curriculum vitae of team members and a technical proposal that states objectives, outputs, key activities, an implementation structure, a list of partners, a monitoring and evaluation plan, a work plan and a detailed budget. The implementation of the winning solutions will take place from October 2022 to February 2023.