Give youths, graduates proper guidance to prepare for working world, says Senator

Reuters filepix for illustration purpose only

Reuters filepix for illustration purpose only

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 18): Student and youth groups need to be given proper guidance to help them prepare for the reality of facing the working world, said Senator Jaziri Alkaf Abdillah Suffian.

He said this was because currently, one in six graduates, on average, would only secure employment six months after graduation.

“Employers no longer rely solely on their qualifications, in fact nowadays, what most employers look for in students or graduates is whether they are able to contribute to society.

As such he asked if the Higher Education Ministry (MOHE) and Education Ministry apply skills development strategies as the basis in producing holistic and highly skilled graduates.

“Today we see employers, such as Google, have started to provide their own fields of study that are definitely in line with the needs of the industry and the world," he said during the debate on 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) at the Dewan Negara here on Monday.

He said youths should be equipped with transferable skills that would enable them to be flexible and innovative, especially with the current unstable situation.

In addition Jaziri Alkaf said youth’s resilience should also be enhanced and they should  be equipped with technology skills for competitive advantage.

He said such skills were seen to help to bridge the marketability gap in the country as youths enter the working world and this could be used as a yardstick in evaluating their performance for promotion and salaries. 

Getting graduates employed  immediately could help increase the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and reduce youth unemployment, which in turn could contribute  to the economic recovery plan, he added.

Meanwhile, Senator Khairil Nizam Khirudin when debating the 12MP said the government should focus on graduate marketability and job mismatch, as they were among post-Covid-19 challenges.

He proposed that the Human Resources Ministry work with the MOHE and industries to look into manpower needed by the industries and how university and college syllabuses can benefit the country. 

"Similarly, in developing the Youth Higher Education Policy in the 10th Malaysia Plan, RM28 billion was allocated to fund studies up to the highest level such as master's and doctorate degrees.

"Through this allocation, Malaysia then was targeting more than 60,000 doctoral degree holders  among its citizens by 2023. This target was included in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025. However, the MyBrain, MyMaster and MyPhD programmes are increasingly being forgotten.

"I request MOHE feedback and to look seriously into this matter because we want more young people to hold doctoral degrees, including among the Orang Asli," he said.

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