Education and human capital development have consistently formed the largest portion of the Government’s annual allocation accounting for 21%, or RM54.6b of the 2014 Budget.
In line with this, the largest portion of TalentCorp’s resource and allocation is for developing local Malaysian talent, with a focus on enhancing graduate employability.
To ensure Malaysia has the graduates and skills needed to meet its goal of becoming a high-income, knowledge-based economy by 2020, TalentCorp is taking significant steps to produce “industry ready” graduates through a three-pronged approach involving greater career awareness, industry exposure, and enhancing skills for employability.
Awareness: Sector Focused Career Fair (SFCF)
In 2014, TalentCorp organised the industry-led SFCF in 10 universities throughout the country. The fairs focused on raising awareness of career and internship opportunities in key economic sectors including Engineering, Banking, Accounting, Finance, Consulting, Shared Services and FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods).
Key fact: 80% of employers polled by the World Bank highlighted the need for university curricula to be more applicable to industry needs, particularly in providing students with more practical training and industry exposure.
Partner profile: PETRONAS ICT
PETRONAS ICT’s Young Graduate Programme (YGP) is a featured programme offering at TalentCorp’s SFCF events. YGP is a holistic, 18-month development programme with project or division-specific assignments that provides a strong foundation for young professionals.
“Finding the right talent is paramount to PETRONAS ICT.” – Redza Goh, CEO, PETRONAS ICT Sdn Bhd
How we found our dream jobs at SFCF
Mohd Hanif Bin Mohd Taib
Project Delivery, PETRONAS ICT
Graduated in Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical)
“The companies listed at the SFCF were big players in their industries and I wanted to find out more about the opportunities out there. The thing that attracted me was the welcoming, encouraging and inspiring attitudes of the PETRONAS ICT representatives at the SFCF. With the high standards required to join PETRONAS ICT, I was confident that I would be challenged and also pushed to the limits of my own ability.”
Corporate Business’ CIO Office, PETRONAS ICT
Graduated in Political Science and Sociology of Law, Criminology and Deviance
“Through SFCF, I learnt that YGP provides a very structured programme to successful candidates who undergo an 18-month training programme before finally being assigned to a department. I am currently undergoing training in the Corporate Business’ CIO Office. Even though I have no background in ICT, my teammates are actively helping me understand the nature of our business.”
Addressing the skills gap
Malaysia’s economic transformation towards a knowledge-based economy has driven the demand for a wider range of new skills and competencies.
According to the World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor (June 2014), 200 leading employers surveyed found that there is a skills mismatch between recent graduates and employers’ requirements, arising from the education system not evolving in tandem with industry needs.
The mismatch is further exacerbated by a lack of communication and collaboration between universities and employers. Fifty-three per cent of companies surveyed do not work with universities career services centres and less than 10% contributed towards curriculum development at universities.
The Industry Engagement Zone (Ind-E-Zone)
A dedicated area within university campuses to encourage universities and students to directly interface with key industries.
Unveiled in November 2014, Ind-E-Zone will allow employers to have consistent and constant presence at universities, and actively participate in students’ development before they graduate.
At the launch, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, Minister of Education II said:
“It is critical that our education system produces industry ready graduates. Ind-E-Zone will be established in 11 public universities by 2015 and will provide industry-relevant content and engagement to help students get ready for the working world.”
Exposure: Structured Internship Programme (SIP)
A collaboration between the Ministry of Education (MOE) and TalentCorp, SIP provides incentives and support to companies providing young graduates with a good industry exposure through structured internship experiences.
In 2014, more than 12,000 undergraduates did internships under SIP, with more than 1,000 doing internships in the Accounting sector.
“Structured internship programmes have the power to prepare students for successful and fulfilling careers.” – Datuk Narendra Kumar Jasani, country managing partner, Grant Thornton Malaysia
Partner profile: MDeC
The MDeC-International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) internship project in 2014 provided certification training as part of internship and placement to employers upon completion.
Upon completion of training, students will receive certification as an IAOP Certified Outsourcing Specialist, an internationally recognised certification for outsourcing professionals:
- 200 participants received IAOP certification in 2014. A further 300 will be trained in 2015.
- Participating companies are Fujitsu Component (M), PETRONAS ICT, Schlumberger Business Support Hub, AirAsia Global Shared Services.
- Participating universities: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
MY ASEAN Internship
To become a global economy, we need Malaysians with an international perspective. MY ASEAN Internship gets young Malaysians to intern overseas with our regional champions.
“With Malaysian talent on the move, this initiative will be a major benefit to Malaysian employers as they seek to build ASEAN-wide companies.” – Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade & Industry
Gaining a competitive edge
TalentCorp supports competitions by employers to provide young talent exposure to industry in a fun and challenging way. For example:
- Innovate Malaysia
The Innovate Malaysia Design Competition is a multi-discipline engineering design competition open to all final year undergraduate engineering or computer science students in Malaysia.
While aimed at promoting the culture to innovate among graduates, the competition also seeks to promote greater interest in engineering design. In 2014, more than 350 students across Malaysia participated in the event.
- CIMB Talent Trail
Organised jointly by TalentCorp and CIMB Group, where more than 240 students across Malaysia are involved in the Talent Trail games in English, with emphasis on employability skills such as clear communication, teamwork, self-confidence and preparedness in facing challenges.
TalentCorp’s Graduate Employability Management Scheme (GEMS) and Upskilling programmes enhance graduates’ employability by giving them industry-relevant skills and experience.
Since 2011, almost 13,000 graduates have been upskilled through TalentCorp’s GEMS and upskilling programmes.
In 2014 alone, more than 3,500 graduates were trained and placed with leading employers in key sectors such as Electronics, Oil & Gas, FMCG, Shared Services, ICT & telecommunications.
FasTracking your way to a career in electronics
Typically, fresh graduates begin their career in Electronics as a manufacturing engineer on the factory floor. TalentCorp’s FasTrack programme equips young fresh graduates with the competencies to become an R&D (research & development) engineer.
The FasTrack programme was industry-led, coordinated by the Penang Skills Development Centre involving a 12-month R&D apprenticeship programme, which combined classroom training and on-the-job training working on actual ongoing R&D projects.
“Motorola Solutions Malaysia is one of the participating employers in FasTrack, an Upskilling programme that accelerates graduates into the highly skilled area of R&D.” – Dr. Hari Narayanan, managing director, Motorola Solutions Malaysia
Budget 2015: RM30m has been allocated to TalentCorp for the Industry Academia Collaboration programme.
For more information, visit facebook.com/sectorFocusedCareerFairSFCF or ready4work.my. To apply for Upskilling Programmes, email email@example.com. To learn more about SIP, visit sip.talentcorp.com.my.
Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 28 March 2015
Lay Hsuan is the content curator for Leaderonomics.com. She writes occasionally and is the caretaker for Leaderonomics social media channels. She is happiest when you leave comments on the website, or subscribe to Leader’s Digest, or share Leaderonomics content on social media.