Archive for the ‘Careers’ Category

Move on! Stop feeling sad and down!

Sunday, December 22nd, 2019
Where do I fit in the new year – staff members being briefed about the retrenchment exercise during a townhall at Balai Berita in Kuala Lumpur. — Pix: NSTP/HAFIZ SOHAIMI

IT hurts when you get sacked from your job. It really sucks. Being fired at a time when you are not yet ready to call it a day can be devastating.

It can shake your self-confidence and make you wonder if this is the end of the road where your professional career is concerned. That’s what some of my former colleagues at Media Prima Bhd are going through now.

Some have already received their termination letters. Many of them have served the once-mighty and proud publishing house and free-to-air television network for many years.

Many would say that some of their best years were either in Bangsar or Damansara.

This latest round of downsizing will trim down manpower at Balai Berita and Sri Pentas significantly.

By the first quarter of next year, the group’s headcount would have been greatly reduced.

No company would like to lose its trained staff. But it happens. This retrenchment exercise is perhaps the most painful ever for the group.

Certainly the most emotional yet. Many of the affected staff have been voicing their fears and anxieties, wondering what the future holds for them and their families.

The camaraderie and friendship among them are so strong that even those who stay behind are also emotionally affected.

I know for a fact that the bond among many of the staff is thick, nurtured over many years with teamwork, sacrifices and genuine friendship.

I know many of them personally. Rumours of a big lay-off have been circulating for months. Last week, these rumours became real. It is not fake news. Sometimes in a media organisation, nothing is a secret and nothing is sacred.

Only those who have had their services prematurely terminated know the real pain. Yes, there’s financial compensation. Yes, there are other support packages available. But these do not ease the pain of being laid off, no matter how compelling the reasons may be.

There is more sadness than anger in this latest exercise. For the past week, staff huddled and tried to comfort each other.

But it must also be said that there are employees who have been looking to make a career change.

Thus, the retrenchment with its financial compensation is a blessing for them.

The company’s declining revenue has made the big lay-off inevitable. The affected staff are offered financial compensation, which cushions the blow somewhat.

One’s package depends on the number of years of service and one’s last-drawn salary.

I went through the same process about 15 years ago. I know the feeling exactly. I chose to be a journalist 47 years ago and had thought that I would retire when I reached the mandatory retirement age. But this was not to be.

It took years to recover from the blow, years of putting up a bold front. Still, I was fortunate. Colleagues helped to hook me up to another job almost immediately. Otherwise, I would have been left idle twiddling my thumbs.

I had a brief chat with the group editor of the New Straits Times, Rashid Yusof, last week.

He handed out retrenchment letters to some of the editorial staff, a task that he would probably remember his whole life. He then visited several states to hand over the letters personally to his colleagues.

Last Tuesday, he spoke to those affected. He felt just as sad. As I recall, Rashid, who came into the NST family on Pak Samad’s (Tan Sri A. Samad Ismail) recommendation when he was editorial adviser in the mid-1980s, said: “It’s a sad day for me. For all of us. We are family.

“This sense of family togetherness is a Balai Berita DNA for a long time, regardless of which department one comes from.”

The affected staff’s last day of service is on March 15

The NST turns 175 next year — no small achievement. It has seen its ups and downs, with internal and external challenges.

Rashid said: “We will endure and regroup. It is a new journey for all of us — those leaving and those staying back. There will be new milestones to strive for.

“This newspaper had always been keeping a keen eye on national issues, and beyond. In its 175th year, we must seek to regain our ambitions.”

A small advice to those leaving: don’t burn your bridges, stay in touch with each other, be positive always, and don’t blow away your financial compensation on parties and kenduri.

You have skill sets that can be turned into productive capital — use them.

Equally challenging would be the tasks before those who remain behind. The onus is on you to show that your friends and colleagues have not departed in vain.

Remember this — they go so that you can stay. So please do justice to their “sacrifice”.

Everyone needs to gather their thoughts. You have to shoulder the burden of making sure the company corrects its bottom line. Of course, it starts from the top! If you fail, the departed won’t take that kindly.

So build on the collective sadness; take on the challenge head on and stop saying “NO” to new ideas, innovation, technology and a new horizon. Make every sen count; make every word tell a story.

By Ahmad A Talib.

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NST Leader: Working at retrenchment

Monday, December 16th, 2019
(FILE PIX) Work shapes us in so many ways. It forms us, intellectually and psychologically, as one economist put it. NSTP
December 16, 2019 @ 12:00am

WORK has a big presence in our lives. But it is seldom a subject of discussions in the media.

Of late, however, some companies are downsizing their operations to keep businesses afloat. It is about restrategising and refreshing ideas and the way forward.

Data made available by the Social Security Organisation (Socso) point to 23,697 lay-offs last year. The top three contributors were manufacturing (7,600), construction (2,064) and finance (1,799). Socso’s figures only indicate those who apply for unemployment benefits.

This year, up to Nov 6, the number has climbed to 37,260 retrenched workers. But there are reasons for it — the global downturn, for instance, decline in exports, low domestic consumption or disruptive business models, ineffective management systems or underskilled and demotivated employees

Some companies, too, may need fewer employees due to labour-saving devices or technology. And in this era of robotics, many skills will become redundant.

Work shapes us in so many ways. It forms us, intellectually and psychologically, as one economist put it.

Take work away, these dimensions disappear. This is the formatted way of looking at things.

Change demands innovations and flexibility. Ultimately, economic hardships can make people unhappy. Also, one should not discount the social costs of being out of a job.

But the employees are not the only victims. The nation, too, will be denied of human capital. And the erosion of skills acquired over the years. These are important things that must be taken notice of. Because humans run the economy and society.

We accept that businesses should be uppermost nimble. “Be nimble, be quick” is an old Harvard University advice. It applies to all, and yes, to the media too.

This Leader is of the view that structural adjustments are necessary to strategically align the economy with new realities. The attendant despair and anxiety is a given.

A new narrative is what the nation needs this instance. About the new trajectories and sources of growth. The ground needs to crunch new numbers and data.

It is best that the storyboard is humanised. A good start is the new journey of the newly retrenched.

Socso is keen to offer assistance. The minute the retrenchment letter is issued, hurry along to Socso. It will start looking for new jobs.

In this context, there is something interesting going on across the Causeway. They call it responsible retrenchment. There, a government agency — the Taskforce for Responsible Retrenchment and Employment Facilitation — tries to find employment within six months of retrenchment.

Some 70 per cent of the retrenched have done so through the task force. Malaysia will also highlight our initiatives. This and Socso’s Employment Insurance System (EIS) that helps the retrenched cushion unemployment for six months.

New opportunities should be communicated extensively. Companies, too, can play a role by helping employees reskill for life outside. Early intervention with the EIS team will help.

As for the retrenched, they need to be careful with the compensation they receive. Whatever the amount, it needs to be invested wisely.

The money must be made to grow and not to be wasted on experimental ventures. It is in this way they can prepare for life outside.

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Headed for bright job prospects

Saturday, November 23rd, 2019

Job prospects for ECSE graduates are very good and they can choose to work locally or internationally.

THERE may be many domains within the engineering field but pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering (ECSE) at Monash University Malaysia can offer prospective students a multitude of exciting career options in the future.

ECSE encompasses all scales of electrical and electronic engineering, from the fundamentals of circuits, electronic signals and signal processing through digital electronics and systems on chips to the designs of large-scale power and telecommunication systems. It is an incredibly diverse field.

Monash University Malaysia Head of Discipline (ECSE) Assoc Prof Lan Boon Leong explained that ECSE is a diverse and rapidly evolving field that includes biomedical, computer systems, electronics, electrical power engineering, robotics and telecommunications.

The university’s four-year programme equips students with a solid foundation in ECSE to prepare them for the working world.

“The job scope is pretty wide while students can enter different fields and industries,” he explained. “Our graduates work in a wide range of industries, including semiconductor manufacturing, telecommunications, solid-state lighting, technology consultancy and software engineering.”

Prof Lan highlighted that job prospects for ECSE graduates are very good and that they can choose to work locally or internationally – many multinational companies actively seek Monash graduates to employ, including recruitment on campus.

Students must undergo training in an industrial-based environment after their third year of study, as required by the Board of Engineers Malaysia’s Engineering Accreditation Council. After the 12-week training, students must submit a written report detailing their work experience.

Companies like British Telecommunications plc, Carrier (M) Sdn Bhd, ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia Inc, F&N Holdings Bhd, Freescale Semiconductor Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Goodyear Malaysia Berhad, Hicom Automotive Manufacturer (M) Sdn Bhd, Malaysia Airlines, IBM (M) Sdn Bhd and Shell Refining Company (Federation of Malaya) Berhad have all provided internship opportunities for Monash’s engineering students.

“Most of our ECSE students undergo their industrial training at renowned multinational companies such as Intel, National Instruments (NI) and Huawei Technologies,” said Prof Lan, adding that many of these students have formally and informally been offered a job before they graduate.

Many Monash graduates work in large public and private telecommunications, manufacturing and electrical power companies. Others work for defence and intelligence organisations.

Prof Lan reiterated that the curriculum addresses the fundamental knowledge of ECSE, which can be applied in many areas.

“You can’t learn everything in university – you learn the fundamentals. When you go out to the working world, you have to rely on your ability to learn. And that’s one of the key points about our degree – students learn how to learn,” he said.

“Students learn not only in their third-year engineering design unit and final-year project but also in other units throughout their four years of studies.”

Projects are often related closely to the department’s exceptionally strong research and collaborative industry programmes within its research centres.

To further help students ease their transition from university to the workplace, ECSE hosts talks by its alumni who share their experiences with current students on job hunting and interviews, what to expect in the working world, as well as how they adapted to their new environment.

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Developing ‘work-ready’ PR students

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
Professor Mohd Said Bani C.M. Din (back row, centre) with Taylor’s University Faculty of Social Sciences and Leisure Management students after delivering an educational talk.

In recent years, feedback from many employers indicate that graduates lack the essential skills required to get by in the workplace.

As a way to elevate the standards of its graduates, Taylor’s University School of Media and Communications has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with strategic communications firm BzBee Consult Sdn Bhd to develop more “work-ready” students.

BzBee managing director Professor Mohd Said Bani C.M. Din said: “Time and time again, we have heard how students can excel academically, but find it difficult when they seek to be a part of the workforce.

“There exists a gap between the skills that universities churn out and what the job market requires. From our experience interviewing graduates, they lack in many aspects. It is our hope that this collaboration will contribute towards closing this gap.”

He added: “All universities are committed to producing students academically, but what sets Taylor’s University apart is how it persistently finds new ways to develop students from the practical standpoint.”

The MoU seeks to explore opportunities that will provide practical experience to students, deliver developmental support through industry-based exposure, training and intellectual discussions, as well as identify specific focus areas to better prepare students for the job market

(From left) Dr Latifah Pawanteh, Professor Dr Neethiah Ari Ragavan, Professor Dr Pradeep Nair, Professor Mohd Said Bani C.M. Din and Zalina Abdul Aziz at the memorandum of understanding signing ceremony between Taylor’s University and BzBee Consult Sdn Bhd.

It will offer students real-world learning through consultancy projects, industry engagements and exposure, specifically in the areas of public relations (PR), issues and crises, as well as stakeholder management.

As part of this collaboration, Taylor’s University and BzBee will set up a learning centre known as The Hive to give students industry-based exposure.

Mohd Said said: “At The Hive, they can meet with the BzBee team and consult us on practical learning materials.

“To enhance its functions, we decided to collaborate with some of our clients, starting with Sarawak Tourism Board in its campaign themed ‘Sarawak: More to discover’. This will better acquaint students with the promotional and communications aspects of tourism.

“They have already learnt the theory. Our part is translating that into practice to pique their interest. Education is not just about scoring exams, but it’s about making students passionate to explore.”

Through this tripartite arrangement, students get to take up a bigger role, said Mohd Said.

“Internships will get you involved with the clients only in a very short period. Students usually just go through the motions and do as they’re told. In this programme, students get to be decision-makers.

“Acting as a real company, they will come up with strategies and implement plans of their own from scratch. We will monitor and guide them along the way.”

He said it was important for students to complement their academic studies with the tacit knowledge outside the classroom.

“We will incorporate stakeholder management as part of the teaching process. This way, students will get to experience dealing with actual case scenarios. Each client has a different set of stakeholders, so students need to master the correct techniques and understand their sentiments. Students will gain valuable soft skills and intrinsic values. This is not something a PR practitioner learns from the textbook.”

Just like any other industry, he said, the PR industry was undergoing a massive digital transformation.

BzBee Consult Sdn Bhd managing director Professor Mohd Said Bani C.M. Din.

He said: “Future PR practitioners or students cannot take things for granted. They must utilise technology to increase their efficiency in the workplace such as in media monitoring.

“But students must also understand that creative skills and human qualities are still important. Even with machine learning, this aspect of PR will not be replaced.”

The MoU will also explore opportunities in research and publications for Taylor’s University lecturers in the PR field.

“We will deliver materials to the lecturers. In fact, we have created and provided educational videos and conducted mock cases and media briefings,” Mohd Said said.

The MoU was inked by Taylor’s University deputy vice-chancellor Professor Dr Pradeep Nair and Mohd Said on Oct 14 at Taylor’s University Lakeside campus.

Pradeep said: “This MoU signifies our commitment in collaborating with industry players to provide students with real-industry experience and encouraging lecturers to develop industry-driven projects on PR.

“Perhaps, one day, we may be able to apply an ‘open-loop’ approach, where students will get the opportunity to work as part of the course and return to the university to continue their studies.

“Towards this end, we hope this collaboration with BzBee will be a start, where students no longer have to be in the classroom to continue to grow. We believe there is much to learn from those in the outside world.”

Mohd Said said to fill in the gap, a concerted effort was needed.

“The industry can’t just complain that the standards of graduates are terrible and blame it solely on the education system. I don’t believe in this blame game.

“BzBee has always believed in the ‘open-loop’ approach in education. Other parties should also take a step forward to help students get ready for the workforce.”

Present at the ceremony were Taylor’s University Faculty of Social Sciences and Leisure Management executive dean Professor Dr Neethiah Ari Ragavan, Faculty of Social Sciences and Leisure Management head Dr Latifah Pawanteh and BzBee senior director Zalina Abdul Aziz.

By Rayyan Rafidi.

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Welcome competitive advantage Gen Z brings

Monday, November 18th, 2019

Currently, the workplace is a highly diverse and interesting environment comprising a few generations who present myriad characteristics. That said, organisations should shift their focus to the youngest group in the workforce, post-Millennials, known as Generation Z or simply Gen Z. Unicef broadly defines this tech-savvy generation as those born after 1995.

This is a generation raised on internet and smartphones and, hence, very comfortable with electronic communication and interaction. In short, they live and breathe technology. They use digital tools and quickly adapt to new devices. They are intelligent, brave, practical and fast, often requiring less supervision. However, it has been suggested that Gen Z has an attention span of merely eight seconds!

With the early Gen Z now in their twenties and rapidly joining the employment market, questions on this generation’s values and workplace expectations need to be addressed. First, Gen Z job-seekers tend to use Linkedln in their search for employment. Apart from the expected active-ness on social networking sites such as Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook, they favour Linkedln to build their “brand” and make their presence known in the job market, according to a study on graduating Gen Z students. Personal branding – being able from the outset to naturally identify and showcase their prominent dispositions to interested employers – is highly instinctive for them.

This is a generation who – despite or because of growing up in a world conscious of terrorism and public fear, due to acts of terrorism and mass violence – believe that they can make a difference in the world. Gen Z possess greater awareness and support diversity, equality and inclusivity. Therefore, in their search for the ideal job, they are attracted to organisations with a cause – a company that is socially responsible and actively contributing to the betterment of society and/or the environment. Once they find an organisation that matches their values, they will be focused and highly committed in their job. It is unsurprising that they are then willing to settle for lesser pay to work in a company that champions causes they believe in. In other words, Gen Z find such non-financial rewards more attractive.

In line with this characteristic, many organisations now practise sustainable human resource management, where the sustainability agenda is delivered through workers, including Gen Z. This creates a win-win situation of person-organisation fit, in which 1) the organisation becomes more ethical and socially and/or environmentally responsible, while 2) drawing potential Gen Z employees.

Another appealing point of this up-and-coming generation is how driven they are – often setting high expectations of themselves and of their employers. Having witnessed the stereotyping of Gen Y, this succeeding generation strives to uphold their own professional brand and prove that they are equally capable when they are offline. Based on extensive studies conducted by Ranstad US as well as Corey Seemiller and Meghan Grace, authors of Generation Z Goes to College, Gen Z students have high entrepreneurial spirit and some have intentions to be self-employed upon graduating. What is striking is that this preference for entrepreneurship is not just a conscious choice but rather a mechanism for survival in today’s world, having come of age during the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

Opportunities that explore and encourage the use of technology are also what Gen Z look for in their work. Spending an average of three hours a day on social media, this generation is innately keen on and capable of accessing online materials, particularly social media, in getting the job done. Despite that, they are generally more aware of online privacy issues, having learnt from Gen Y the risks of over-exposure and divulgences on the internet. Such combined superior technical and language proficiency, along with their online security risk savviness, suggest that they indeed add value to the workforce.

In addition, Gen Z prefer hands-on activities as they focus on acquiring skills necessary for their career. Two unique aspects of this generation are: 1) observation before trying out something themselves, such as viewing videos on YouTube or other social media video-sharing sites, and 2) broader application of their knowledge.

They also enjoy playing games and thus, find the gamification of tasks highly appealing. A focus on how jobs can be gamified so as to hold their attention and enthusiasm is the way to go. Compared with their Gen Y and Gen X predecessors, Gen Z are stronger in the field of IT or creative works, and they perform poorly in monotonous activities. Instead, jobs that allow autonomy and individuality are ideal.

Furthermore, Gen Z expect to receive instant feedback at work. They are bolder and want their ideas to be heard. They will only engage in teamwork when forced to, unlike Gen Y who believe in the power of collaborative efforts. Then again, Gen Z are more eager to share knowledge compared to Gen Y, albeit online rather than face to face.

To sum up, Gen Z job-seekers favour workplace flexibility, immediate job satisfaction and recognition, as well as careers that allow them to reap immediate rewards or progression. These are distinctive and highly independent people who are happiest when their work has significant social impact, and are confident using technology in general and social media in particular. Let us welcome them to the workforce and embrace the competitive advantage they bring to organisations!

By: Dr Liew Su Ann

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Why not start your own business?

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

WHEN you are in school, your teachers and parents would have kept on stressing that you should study hard, so that one day you can get a good job. Many students have heeded their advice and have been studying really very hard for the last 12 years or so.

They are passing with flying colours. Many are entering universities and have qualified as graduates.

Sooner or later many of these graduates will find out that there are no jobs waiting for them out there. Many of these graduates are going to be very disappointed. Definitely you don’t want to be caught in the same situation.

The youth unemployment rate in Malaysia, at 10.9 per cent officially, is more than triple the national rate of 3.3 per cent and has been gradually rising over the past decade. Unemployed youth make up almost 60 per cent of the 504,000 currently unemployed.

Three distinct youth unemployment segments can be identified:

1. Graduate youth

The Ministry of Education reported that 57,000 of 173,000 of last year’s graduates remained jobless after looking for a job for six months. The Colleges and Universities are churning out graduates who are not needed by employers. Have you heard of medical graduates who cannot get a posting to do housemanship?  Do you have friends who have qualified as nurses but cant find a job? What about those who qualified in Psychology or Business who are still unemployed. How long do these graduate youths need to wait for a job?

2. Rural youth

There are Youths who have completed their SPM and STPM and are just staying with their parents in villages and rural areas. They are basically not working. Some just help around their parents doing the routine chores.

Those who principally remain at home with their parents and are not working nor employed. The families provide food and shelter. Such youths have no where to go. The best place for them is their home. How long are they going to hang around doing nothing? What does the future hold for them?

3. Urban youth

Youths living in towns and cities may comprise of  non-graduates. Most of them  are looking for employment in retail outlets such as hypermarkets, shopping complexes and shops.  Some seek employment as clerks, office assistants, accounts clerks or in administration.  Many others look for employment in distribution, manufacturing and in hospitality.

A large number work in restaurants, fast food centres, hotels, bars and in the service sectors.

What is their future down the line? How much will they earn after working in their job for five years? For the time being they have a job but can they grow?

Is there a way out for our youths?

All these “ unemployed and under employed” youths need help. If they cannot get a job out there, they must at least be encouraged to start their own small business. Starting a business is not easy. However, If proper guidance and assistance is provided, many of these unemployed youths can be taught to stand on their own feet.

Step 1: Do Your Research

Before you start your business do your own research. Where do you live? Do you live in a tourist resort area?  What is your environment like?  Is it a rural or urban area? What type of people live in your area? Are they foreigners or locals? Are they high income group or average income group? What services are in demand? Do the people need transportation? Do they need English tutors? Do they need a laundry? Take your own time and do a thorough research.

Step 2: Make a Plan

Draw a plan of what you want to do. Are you going to do A to Z? Are you going to do what you are capable of doing? Are you going to run the business on your own or with other partners? Are you going to open 24 hours? Is it an on-line business? Is it a franchise business? Do you need to travel? Put your plan on a paper.

Step 3: Plan Your Finances

To start a business you may need a certain amount of money. Do you have the money? Are you going to get a loan? Are you going to lease? Are you going to finance it on your own or are you going to have a few partners. Many businesses fail because they don’t plan their finances. Plan every detail so that you will not be caught unknowingly.

Career Tips

Over the next few weeks let us look at how to start your own small business. There may be many youths out there, wanting some motivation or guidance. Let us look at some of the businesses that you can start.

As a reader, if you have a good business idea please write to: The information you provide may be useful to others.

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Career guidance for primary students

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

STUDENTS in the Primary schools would have completed their final examinations by now.  They are now idle.

Some do not even bother to come to school. Unless schools create activities for them, you can’t get their attention. What can schools do to keep them engaged?

Career Guidance is one of the solutions. By career guidance, it is not meant that we organise a series of talks on various careers in school. That can be boring specially for those who are not really interested in becoming doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc.

Furthermore listening to a speaker for more than one hour can be really frustrating.

What else can we do?

Visit to Training Centres

The government is talking about blue coloured jobs. We have to get our future youths to be interested in learning skills.

Only if we start early, we will be able to see some results.

Many Training Centres have their own transport such as vans and buses. They can provide the transportation for the students to visit their centres.

Students can be taken for a tour around the campus. This is cost effective for the schools too. The training centres are also interested in publicising their courses. They want to recruit students in the future.

When you mention training centres, they can include Universities, Polytechnics, Community Colleges, Vocational Colleges, Government Training centres and private training centres.

Such field trips can encourage students to attend classes. At the same time, students can learn about various skills. They can learn about projects which are on display. This can motivate students to consider blue colour jobs as another option.

Visit to work places

Field trips can also be organised to Police stations, hotels, hospitals, banks, government departments, army camps, etc.

Students can learn about what people in various work environments do daily.

Many would not have stepped into a five-star hotel. Let them learn about careers in the hospitality industry.

This will give them a hands on experience.  When they visit police stations or army camps, they can learn about what uniformed people do daily. What equipment they work with and where they work.

While visiting they can also be taught some simple skills such as working in a restaurant, hospital or army camp.

Invite skill based people to come to school

There are many retired people and people who are still in service.

They may have various skills such as making handicrafts, growing flowers, making cakes, tailoring, grooming, drawing, painting, etc.  They can come and demonstrate their skills to students.

When students see and do some of these activities hands-on, they will appreciate those skills.  If they take an interest in those skills, they may want to pursue a course when they grow up. These students are never going to be exposed to these skills on their own.  Their parents may not have the time to teach them. The best place is to introduce learning about skills in school.

Talent shows

The best time to organise concerts, talent shows, competitions, food fair and jumble sale is when students are free.

If they have no exams to worry about, organise activities for them.

Teach them the skills of organising on their own. Let them plan and execute on their own. Students who have creative talents can take part in the shows and win prizes. Students who take part in food fair can learn how to cook various dishes.

They can sell their food and donate to the school. Along the way, students learn about business skills too.  Other than demonstrating their skills they also learn to work with others.

They have to give and take while organising an event.  Above all they learn team building.

Dollars and cents

Yes when organising activities for students, the teachers and counsellors have to spend a lot of time and energy.

Not all would want to sacrifice their precious time. But, it is a culture you are building in your school.  If the activities are successful, the students will no doubt appreciate the teachers and what they do for them.

As for money matters, the teachers need to work with universities, training centres, colleges, hotels and various other organisations to absorb the cost.

If you don’t try you are not going to know. There are many training centres which will come forward to assist you.

You can also tap the Labor Office, Human Resource Departments, Multi-National companies, etc.  You can also try your local Aduns, Politicians for assistance. Last but not least, you can talk to your PIBG for financial assistance.

Career Tips

If students know that they are going to do exciting things in the school, they will definitely not miss school. In fact they will look forward to come to school.

Give it a try. If you are a teacher in the primary schools and if you have tried some new activities, drop me line. We can share your experience with other teachers.

Q and A

If you have a question write to:

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8.6 million jobs in the private sector in second quarter of 2019.

Saturday, September 7th, 2019

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): The number of jobs in the private sector increased by 145,000 in the second quarter this year to 8.6 million posts compared with 8.5 million in the corresponding period last year, according to Malaysian Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin (pic).

He said 97.5% or 8.4 million of the posts were filled with vacancies for 218,000 posts or 2.5%.

Most of the jobs were in the semi-skilled category, totaling 5.4 million or 62.3% of the positions, followed by 24.4% in the skilled category and 13.3% for low-skilled.

In terms of jobs created, the semi-skilled category represents 48.5% (13,200), followed by skilled category 44.% and 6.8% for low-skilled category, he said in a statement on Friday (Sept 6).

Mohd Uzir said 51.6% of jobs in the private sector were in the service sector, while 26.3% were in the manufacturing sector, followed by 15.2% in the construction sector, agriculture (5.9%) and one percent in mining and quarrying.

In terms of job vacancies, he said 55.6% were in the manufacturing sector, followed by the service sector (20.1%), while for creation post posts, 50.4% were in the service sector, followed by manufacturing (20.8%) and construction (19.6%).

“The mining and quarrying sector recorded the most posts filled, at 99.6%, followed by the service sector 99% and the construction sector 98.3%.

“For the manufacturing and agriculture sectors, the rate of posts filled were 94.7% and 94.0%, respectively,” he said.


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3,000 jobs up for grabs at 2nd Sabah Career Roadshow

Saturday, August 17th, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Over 3,000 job vacancies will be up for grabs, offered by 125 companies as the 2nd edition of the Sabah Career Roadshow revs up the state capital beginning on August 19.

“There will be wider job prospects awaiting job-seekers being offered by quality and credible employers joining the five-day roadshow from throughout the country, with minimum salary starting at a range of RM1,100,” said Director of Sabah Labour Department, Kamal Pardi at the press conference announcing the event yesterday.

Calling on job seekers and local youth to join the event, Kamal noted prospective employers include reputable and renowned firms such as Korean tech giants, Samsung and other companies which offer numerous benefits, including excellent boarding services for those interested to start their careers in Peninsular Malaysia.

“For youths who haven’t found jobs or those looking for better jobs, this is a priceless opportunity to kickstart your future careers at the career roadshow which will begin at Tabung Haji Kota Kinabalu,” said Kamal, noting this installment of the programme will take the roadshow to five districts throughout Sabah.

He noted the programme, headed in a joint collaboration between the Sabah Labour Department and the State Human Resources Department, was initiated at the request of Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, who is expected to officiate the launching of the event on August 19.

The career roadshow, involving teams of 4X4 vehicle convoy, will travel to selected locations which include Kota Kinabalu (August 19), Kudat (August 20), Kota Marudu (August 21), and Ranau (August 22) before the closing ceremony at Keningau (August 23).

Kamal highlighted the programme had a high rate of success in helping job seekers find employment, noting the first edition of the roadshow, held earlier this year had managed to help over 4,000 job seekers land jobs.

“Through this roadshow, we look forward to bringing job opportunities closer to home for job-seekers and youths who can save the cost of traveling long distances in search of jobs,” he said.

He reminded job-seekers to be punctual, dress decently and appropriately for job interviews which will be arranged by employers who are keen to hire suitable candidates on the spot if the interview is successful.

Adding on, Kamal also invited members of the public to join the roadshow, noting there will also be numerous skills training opportunities being offered during the programme. Among those who attended press conference included Principal Assistant Director of the Department of Human Resources Development (Skills Taining Sponsorship Division), Celestina Aaron.


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More careers for more special people

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

LAST week we looked at some careers that special people can consider.

(Special people are people who have some physical or mental disability. Since they are handicapped, they need some special help.)

With the correct guidance they can choose a career and enter the workforce.

Malaysia is very short of skilled workers and they too can play an important role in the employment sector. Let us look at more career options for special people.

Industrial machinery worker

The task of industrial machinery workers are to repair and sustain the various equipment of the factory and other machineries and should examine their efficiency.

It will need fundamental education in the field of mechanics and the setting where they will have to work would be industries or factories. Hearing impaired candidates are often considered for this field of occupation.

Machinist or tool die maker:

They are responsible for the arrangement and operation of machines and tools which are managed mechanically or by computers.

The duties specifically are to work with the outline, design and sketches then calculating and validate the dimensions, shaping and pulverising machine parts to the design and requirements and monitoring as well as inspecting products for any defects.

Computer system analyst:

In this profession one is accountable to review the systems of the computer and protocols to facilitate smooth functioning of the management of an organisation more effectively.

Computer design organisations and finance and insurance, government and computer management are the frequent employers of this profession. Computer system analyst can work with one organisation or be self employed and function as consultants.

Graphic designers:

The abstract intellectual will be very beneficial to one to become graphic designer.

As a graphic designer one has to conceptualise a design and then work with specific software for its development.

It is a thriving sector and with adequate skills of designing and knowledge of software, the person with disability can easily fit in a slot.

Medical transcription job:

The functions involve the process of transcription that is converting voice recorded information as dictated by healthcare professionals or physicians into text format.

With adequate training one can work in this profession even from home.

Mystery shopping and survey work:

Mystery shoppers are paid to pretend as regular customers and rate a service or store. Filling survey forms is another good option for people with disabilities.

Legal careers:

A person with disability can choose to become a legal secretary, legal assistant, and paralegal.

The legal field provides with many job openings, the majority of which do not need physical labour.

Some job tasks may need a two year degree nevertheless; most require certificate or training courses.

Floral designer:

A person with disability, who is fond of flowers or plants, can become a floral designer. It is the art of using flowers and materials to create a pleasing and stable masterpiece.

It is a traditional practice in many cultures. There is a broader occupation of floristry for flower lovers.


A disabled person can turn into an artist with training or skills. Creating paintings or drawings and exhibiting it can be a good option. Most of the people with disabilities are in this field.

Food service worker:

Making, selling and transporting the food to various restaurants, schools, hospitals or lodging institutions is a very good option for people with disabilities.

One should be a good cook or manage cooks and provide services to different organisations. It can be an owned service or working under an establishment.

Day care workers:

It refers to people who take care of others who are incapable of taking their own care, like children and will be at risk if left alone on their own, or their caretakers want relief in the daytime. Specific disabled people can effectively function in this profession.

Animal caretakers:

The primary duties of an animal caretaker are to take care of the needs of animals.

Tasks such as feed, bathe, groom and exercise animals that are pets or other non-farm animals are some functions. It may differ as per place of work. If a person with disability is fond of animals, this job for them is definitely enjoyable.

Appointment clerk:

The job specification is much broader than regular receptionist or information provider.

Scheduling and recording the appointment details, communicating with callers, reminding of appointments etc are some of the functions of an appointment clerk.

Career Tips

Never lose hope in finding the appropriate job that suits your capability. The only disability in one’s life is bad attitude, thus change your attitude towards life and stay positive.

You can definitely perform tasks available to the people with able-bodies.

Those who have sight, hearing, or mobility impairments can even mould their disabilities into employment resources by means of careful self-promotion and selection of job.

by K Krishnan

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