By PRETHIBA ESVARY
In the past few years, there have been various news reports bringing to our attention the high number of unemployed graduates in Malaysia.
Data from the Malaysian Department of Statistics shows that the country’s unemployment rate in September 2016 stands at 3.5% of the country’s 14.76 million-strong labour force. This works out to approximately 500,000 jobless Malaysians; of that number, a quarter are university graduates. What’s more critical is that unemployment among graduates in our country has risen to 34% this year from 30% in 2013.
Lack of soft skills, demands for high salary, choosiness about jobs, and a mismatch between supply and demand of talents are some factors contributing to the figures we see today.
Addressing the employment gap
Vice president and chief operating officer of Malaysian Institute of Human Resource Management (MIHRM) Geh Thuan Hooi recently highlighted the urgent need to reduce Malaysia’s dependency on foreign workers and increase employment opportunities for Malaysian youths.
This objective is exactly what MIHRM, DHS Hospitality Academy Sdn Bhd (DHS), and Segi Value Holdings (SVH) plan to achieve with a new skills development programme.
The Segi Value Programme, endorsed by the University of Malaya Centre for Continuing Education (UMCCed), is a fully sponsored programme with a monthly allowance and guaranteed job placements. The programme is aimed at SPM leavers and individuals aged 17 to 28 with the equivalent of an O-level qualification.
SVH founder and managing director Chui Ah Hock said the programme is set to train at least 300 students in the first phase.
Launched on Dec 15, the objectives of the programme include providing opportunities for learning and talent development to those who are unable to pursue their studies, increasing the potential of the retail industry, and reducing unemployment among young Malaysians by exposing them to the retail sector.
In his opening speech at the MoU event, SVH senior general manager Fong Leong said, “We aim to groom at least 100 supervisors out of this 300 participants to take up a supervisory role in our supermarkets [and] we aim to pay these supervisors RM2,500 a month.”
While some may perceive work at a supermarket or hypermarket as having limited opportunity for career growth, Fong challenges this thought by stating that store managers can earn anywhere between RM3,500 and RM4,000 and a manager with 10 years of experience can earn up to RM10,000 a month. Now that’s a lucrative career, isn’t it?
He added that this programme is unique because participants would be required to undergo off-the-job learning for a month and on-the-job training for 11 months at various SVH supermarkets (branded as SegiFresh) in the Klang Valley.
More about the programme
The practical training aspect of the programme will expose students to the fundamentals of retail hypermarket/ supermarket environment which encompasses the following modules and more:
- Customer service relations
- Grocery management
- Fresh management
- Inventory management
- Merchandising and display
- Logistics management
Upon completion of the programme, students will have the opportunity to be employed full-time at SegiFresh and to apply for leadership positions in the supervisory level. They may also opt to pursue an 18-month professional diploma programme in Hypermarket Operations which is due to be launched soon.