SKM: A Pathway to Lifelong Education for Everyone

Academic Profiling

A Pathway to Lifelong Education for Everyone

Dika College Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM) Programmes

Kenny Sim, Chief Executive of Dika College, shares his insights on how Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM) programmes can reach out to students who may have been denied an opportunity to exercise their inherent potentials fully. 

Also featured is a special preview on the newly launched SKM in SME Administration Support Services by Shashidran AL Muthu Krishnan, Head, School of Business, Dika College who focussed on how the programme will support SMEs.

When you need a fix

Remember the last time you experienced a leak, or a tripped switch, or the time your laptop kept hanging, or when your car could not start? Recall how relieved you felt when your family plumber and electrician zipped in to fix the problem or when the young man at the IT services kiosk helped reformat your computer? Imagine what would happen without our mechanics!

Skills-based occupations are a necessary and integral complement to academic professions. As Jeremy Wheaton, Forbes council member, wrote early this year, “As we start 2022 amid the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, I am more convinced than ever that skills-based career education and training hold the key to addressing many of the biggest challenges of the years to come.”

When failing does not mean failure


Kenny Sim, Chief Executive of Dika College, agrees with Wheaton, but he has a more significant point to make. “Students can be locked out of an education system that is too focussed and weighted on academic assessments,” said Sim referring to a report in The Edge in 2018, highlighting that 12.5% or 48,637 students failed History, therefore failing the entire SPM examination. 

“If a student fails, it does not mean that the student is a poor learner. It just means that they have different inclinations,” said Sim. He emphasised that it is imperative to help students build on their inclinations and navigate a pathway that empowers them for lifelong education. 

Sim was also keen to point out that Gen Z is readier to take on risks. The “Great Resignation” saw 33 million Americans quit their jobs since the spring of 2021 to pursue endeavours they felt had more purpose. Interestingly, Wheaton also highlighted that 87% of Gen Z respondents define success as having a job that matches their passions.

A focus on skills: Global and national perspectives

Source: UNESCO

On the global front, Sim explained the UNESCO Strategy for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) 2016-2021 is aimed at equipping youth and adults with the skills required for employment, decent work, entrepreneurship and lifelong learning, and contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a whole. 

In Malaysia, efforts to escalate the importance and implementation of skills training are underway, including a call by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to rebrand TVET to eliminate parents’ perception of TVET as a second-class education or irrelevant.

According to Sim, private entities such as the National Association of Private Educational Institutions (NAPEI) are championing TVET to overcome the shortages of skilled labour supply, upgrade skill levels in line with digitalisation advancements, and ensure that skills match industry needs.

“This is what the SKM courses at Dika College seek to do,” added Sim, who, as an education provider, is committed to reaching out to school leavers and actively educating society that a well-designed vocational and technical education can immensely contribute to the nation’s social and economic imperatives.

SKM at Dika College

SKM: A strong emphasis on hands-on training and exposure.

Sim explained that the SKM programmes at Dika have the following goals:-

  • Anyone can embark on a pathway to lifelong education.

Dika College offers two skills-based programmes:-

  • SKM in Early Childhood Care and Development Education
  • SKM in SME Administration Support Services


  • Both programmes are open to Malaysians 17 years and above, with or without an SPM qualification. Upon completion, students can move on to do a diploma and, after that, a degree, Master’s or PhD if they so wish.


  • Be a good match for the industry.


  • Programmes are aligned to industry needs and delivered in English to ensure that students would be a good match for the industry.


  • Be interdependent, not dependent.


  • Programmes emphasise entrepreneurship to enable individuals to improve the quality of their lives and, in turn, power a nation’s economy.

A shared global objective

“If we work together to give skills training the place and attention it rightfully deserves, we could encourage domestic and foreign investment as well as job growth, lowering unemployment and underemployment, increasing wages, and reducing social inequalities,” added Sim.

About the SKM in SME Administration Support Services

A preview by Shashidran AL Muthu Krishnan, Head, School of Business, Dika College

The SKM in SME Administration Support Services is perhaps the only available skills-based course that focuses on equipping students for employment with small medium enterprises (SME), or even to run their own businesses.

“SMEs make up 96% of the businesses in Malaysia and they are extremely important for the business landscape,” explained Shashidran AL Muthu Krishnan, Head, School of Business, Dika College.

The programme features seven modules that have been very purposefully created to support the following functions:

  • front office
  • housekeeping
  • information technology
  • secretarial
  • human resource
  • accounting
  • sales


“Our aim is to enable graduates of the programme to enter the workforce and provide integral support to key personnel in these areas,” added Shashidran.

“It is important that we help students build their confidence.” To do this effectively, Shashidran emphasises that hands-on experience and exposure form a critical part of the programme. Additionally, students are given English remedial classes to enhance their proficiency in the language.

“The full-time duration of the programme is one year and consists of 1888 hours. Students are also required to undergo a period of internship,” said Shashidran. “Upon passing the SKM, students can move on to the Diploma in Business Management programme offered at our partner institution, Brickfields Asia College (BAC),” he added.

Visit for information on our SKM, Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Diploma in Special Education (Early Years) programmes.

March 2022 intake is still open for registration! Come and join us now!
Call us today at +603-80706223/ WhatsApp +6016-2286223 for information on discounts and promotions. We look forward to welcoming you.


International Labour Office. (2011). A skilled workforce for strong, sustainable and balanced growth: A G20 Training Strategy. Retrieved from—ed_emp/—ifp_skills/documents/publication/wcms_151966.pdf

Putra, T. M. (2019, April 19). Edu nation: Are we teaching or punishing our students? Retrieved from The Edge Malaysia:

The Star. (2022, March 7). Move to rebrand TVET. Retrieved from

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (2016). Strategy for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). Retrieved from

Wheaton, J. (2022, January 13). Shorter training, better skills: Three predictions for the future of career and technical education. Retrieved from Forbes:

Xu, W. (2021, October 28). Bright future for vocational education. Retrieved from China Daily:

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Contact Us

We’d love to provide information about furthering your education