Although some may graduate with a clear goal in mind, many undergraduates come out to the working world unprepared, uncertain of their options or requiring career guidance.
In addition, the current job market may pose significant challenges for graduates with degrees which are not in high demand.
The main thrust of the Graduate Employability Management Scheme (GEMS) is to enhance graduate employability with the aim to reduce talent shortages in the key areas of economy.
GEMS 2.0 provides graduates with sector-specific training and exposure in Oil, Gas and Energy, Electrical and Electronics, ICT, Telecommunications, Biotechnology, FMCG, Hospitality, SME-focused/Entrepreneurship
Objectives of GEMS
Provide unemployed graduates with career opportunities and job exposure
The programme is divided into three segments:
- Segment 1 for those with technical degrees in Engineering, Science and Technology
- Segment 2 for those planning to work in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), Hospitality, or Shared/Support Services industries
- Segment 3 for SMEs and entrepreneurships
Applicants who are selected will be provided placement at host companies and training (lasting eight to 12 months) for employment in the host company.
A degree is not enough to secure an entry-level position in the corporate world. Employers look for good interpersonal skills and confidence when they speak to graduates.
GEMS attempts to address this problem by inculcating students with traits employers find desirable.
“We notice that GEMS candidates always have better communication skills, show self confidence during the interview and most importantly, prepare for the interview” – Jamalia Ibrahim, deputy general manager of Group HR from host company, QSR Brands (M) Holdings
“For graduates who do not meet market expectations, on- the-job training through GEMS allows us to support the development of young graduates.” – Shukri Razak, managing director of Metal & Metal (M) Sdn Bhd
The company has trained many fresh graduates to manage the operation of restaurants around Malaysia.
She said the willingness to take challenges, ability to work independently, interpersonal skills and creative thinking, in addition to the ability to adjust themselves within a team and leading the team to run a restaurant are desirable traits of a future manager.
There is an opportunity to prove oneself.
From the graduate’s perspective, GEMS offers a chance for them to prove their worth to an organisation.
“The most challenging part of being a job seeker is when there are offers for me to choose from but I have little confidence that I can perform to their expectations”, said Inani Husna, a Sports Science major who joined QSR with the help of GEMS.
Mohd Shahrizal Mohd Dom, who trained with Pawatech Sdn Bhd under the GEMS programme agreed, adding that it has become harder for graduates to find jobs in fields related to their degrees due to the oversupply of graduates.
Both participants were grateful that GEMS provided a viable pathway for their talents to be noticed.
A final word of advice from Inani:
“Give yourself a chance to test the waters. Don’t ever make your degree a limitation that prevents you from trying and exploring something new or different”.