Empowering Rural Youth for Socioeconomic Development: A Skill Development Approach in Sarawak, Malaysia

Wan-Tze Vong, Patrick Hang Hui Then


This study investigated how skills development training can empower rural youth to improve their socioeconomic status. An online questionnaire (n = 41) and semistructured interviews (n = 10) were conducted with graduates who joined a six-month information and communication technology (ICT) training program in Sarawak, Malaysia. The online survey discovered that the trained youth were likely to use the Internet to participate in socioeconomic activities such as information searching, communication, and e-commerce. Additionally, those who used computers and the Internet frequently were found more likely to be engaged in higher-paying occupations and industries than non-users (p < 0.05). The interviews revealed that the trained youth were empowered with knowledge and skills to move into the labor market and to provide ICT-related services to their communities. The overall findings suggest that skills development training helps facilitate the adoption and use of technologies by rural youth and improves their ability to serve their rural communities


rural areas, skills development, socioeconomic status, technology adoption, training

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