Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Jobless graduates lack critical skills
Annie Freeda Cruez
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19: The Government is concerned about the increasing number of unemployed graduates, many of whom lacked communication skills, are unable to use computers and lack team spirit.
Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn said feedback from employers indicated that most of these graduates were from public universities.
"I have informed the Cabinet that employers prefer to employ graduates from private institutions of higher learning and those who return from overseas because of their qualifications and their better computer skills and work competency.
"According to the employers, public university graduates find it hard to communicate in English, have no proper computer skills and are unable to interact with other races and carry out tasks as a team. They also prefer to work within the stipulated working hours and do not go the extra mile to close deals after office hours or stay back to do extra work." Speaking to reporters after launching the Graduate Training Scheme (GTS) II at Crown Princess Hotel here, Fong said the feedback he received from employers was submitted to the Cabinet on several occasions and to the Education Ministry.
"It's important that universities also take into consideration employers' demands so that graduates are well qualified and competent when seeking employment in the private sector." Some 30,000 graduates register with the Manpower Department annually for jobs.
In view of the many unemployed graduates, Fong said, the Government allocated RM100 million under the stimulus package to provide specialised courses for some 15,000 unemployed graduates to enable them to be more competent.
The graduates will be taught Microsoft Certified Systems Engineering, Cisco Certified Network Professional, Linux Systems Administration, Business Accounting and Marketing, apart from information and communications technology (ICT) and English.
Graduates who had not been employed since 1999 are qualified to apply.