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Local grads not up to mark

KUALA LUMPUR: Graduates emerging from the national education system are failing to meet the expectations of prospective employers due to a lack of critical thinking skills and poor communication.

This has resulted in employers having to provide additional training to fit them into their respective job scopes while many graduates have to accept employment that does not correspond with their qualifications.

Malaysian-based education, human resource and recruitment consultants feel there is a need for a sound foundation in critical thinking to be incorporated into the education system to prepare future generations for the employment market.

Manpower Staffing Services (M) Sdn Bhd country manager Sam Haggag said there was a distinct gap between what the education system was producing and what employers were looking for.

“This has resulted in six out of 10 graduates from Malaysian universities taking as long as six months to find a job.

“The other 40% take even longer,” said Haggag, whose company provides workforce solutions that include recruitment and training.

“Recruitment is a distinct challenge as the uni­­v­­ersities are churning out graduates who don’t have the requisite skills to enter the workforce.

“The lack of proficiency in English limits their ability to communicate beyond the borders of Malaysia and this lowers their confidence and curtails their ability to add value in the workplace,” he added.

Hong Leong Bank chief human resources officer Ramon Chelvarajasingam said many new graduates lacked the critical thinking skills required to keep up in a constantly changing and increasingly competitive world.

These days, most employers look for graduates with a high level of confidence who were exposed to niche areas outside their academic studies.

Prospect Consulting Sdn Bhd director Nina Adlan, who provides advisory services to educational institutions aiming to set up branch campuses in Malaysia, said she had observed “a disconnect”’ between what graduates state on their curriculum vitae and what they are like in reality.

“When we hire, we consider the way graduates converse and portray themselves to be more important than what’s in the CV.

“What’s the point in having good academic results when they can’t communicate, can’t conduct a proper conversation and have no confidence?” she asked. — Bernama

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