Skills mismatch, poor English proficiency dampen graduates’ marketability

by AZREEN HANI / pic by ARIF KARTONO

SKILLS mismatch has been identified as among the main contributing factors for graduates’ lack of marketability among employers, particularly in the private sector.

Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (Medac) Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Jaafar (picture) said lack of English proficiency has also caused graduates to be less desired in the market.

“It is true that the main role of higher learning institutions is to educate students. However, they focus on theories without preparing them with skills and knowledge that would make these graduates readily employable.

“At Medac, we find ways to assist the government in addressing the skills mismatch issue. We are now discussing with our agency, Cooperative Institute of Malaysia, on more training programmes for graduates to get equipped with skills required by industries,” Wan Junaidi said in a statement yesterday.

The ministry reported around 232,000 jobless graduates nationwide and with the current economic environment, it will be difficult for them, especially those fresh out of colleges, to secure employment.

“Unemployment among graduates requires intervention and assistance from the government.

“Through programmes such as the Professional Training and Education for Growing Entrepreneurs (PROTÉGÉ), we hope to give them the necessary work exposure by working in government departments, agencies and government-linked companies,” Wan Junaidi said.

PROTÉGÉ, a unit under the ministry, will assist up to 5,000 unemployed graduates under its Ready To Work programme, an almost 60% increase from 3,000 graduates last year.

Under PROTÉGÉ, the graduates will be placed under organisations for a short-term employment programme.

“Hopefully, by the end of their tenure, these graduates will acquire new skills and work experience that would significantly improve their marketability among potential employers,” he said.

Wan Junaidi said this move is crucial to help the government in addressing issues concerning unemployment among graduates, especially in today’s highly challenging post-Covid-19 environment.

PROTÉGÉ is a unit under Medac, which is tasked to carry out programmes to help improve graduates’ marketability in the job market and cultivate entrepreneurship skills.

A rebrand of Skim Latihan 1Malaysia, this programme involves collaborations with industry players, thus providing on-the-job training to equip graduates with skills required by industries.


Read our previous report here

MEDAC to train 5,000 unemployed graduates under PROTÉGÉ