Archive for the ‘Careers’ Category

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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Careers for special people

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

MALAYSIA is very short of skilled workers. The government is trying ways and means to reduce foreign workers from working in Malaysia.

While many steps are being taken, it is worth considering the thousands of disabled Malaysians who are not usefully employed.

They may have the skills, but society is often skeptical in employing disabled people.

If only the attitude of employers change, we will have access to another group of employable Malaysians. They can easily fit into our society. At the same time we have the opportunity to provide employment for our own disabled workers.

The word “disability” itself says that one’s ability has been disabled, that is a person cannot carry out all the normal and regular physical or mental tasks. However a person who is suffering from a disability can channel his skills and knowledge in his chosen career.

Disability cannot pull a person down completely and to have a job, he has to be well motivated to support himself to hunt for jobs that he can do well. Most often these people are highly motivated and excel in their work.

If one is confused as to what jobs will be appropriate considering the disability, below is a list of jobs that one can choose as per the interests and ability of one. Delve into the many job openings available to you and work on whatever you are capable of doing.

Different Types of Jobs for People with Disabilities:

1. Accountant:

An accountant is responsible to keep or examine financial records. Financial institutions are considered as the highest employers of job hunters with disabilities.

The accounting opportunity is predominantly promising.

2. Financial Analyst:

Financial analyst has to analyse the capability of finance related bodies for investments. They have to evaluate whether an entity will be stable, solvent or profitable.

Thus one with certain disability can work as financial analyst as financial analysis is another eminent growing field in the financial area.

3. Management consultant:

Management consultant is someone who helps organisations to augment their functioning, performance and working primarily through the evaluation of existing organisational tribulations and the development of plans for advancement.

The organisations believe that these disabilities struck candidates will be able to help them effectively to overcome their challenges as the disabled people have themselves overcome many trials. Hence, with appropriate education one can easily find jobs in this field.

4.  Market research analyst:

Data on competitors and consumers are gathered and analysed to study market situation and to understand the potential of a product or service for sales.

The people with disabilities are able to contribute unique insights to the businesses that are looking up to adapt their consumers’ choices of products.

5. Pharmaceutical sales:

It involves the process of sales of drugs that has been clinically examined for its effectiveness and safety.

Many of the employers of people with disabilities in this sector are specialists in pharmaceutical sales.

6. Pharmacy technician:

Under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, a pharmacy technician works as a health care provider carrying out pharmacy related operations.

This field has encountered high growth. The field has a verified track record for hiring job seekers who have disabilities.

7. Physician assistant:

A physician assistant is one who provides with health care and is inevitable in today’s health care structure.

They have to practice medicine along with physicians or other health care professionals to deliver premium health care to patients. One may encounter aiding others with disabilities.

8.  Software engineer:

They are responsible in the development, design and conservation of software. It is a top career and a growing sector for the job seekers with disabilities.

9. Vocational counselors:

It is a profession in which one assists person who has disabilities to assess their strengths as well as weaknesses with the intention of helping them in selecting the careers or jobs that expands their potentials to become active contributors to the workforce.

The people who themselves have disabilities have the best knowledge and insight to find the right career as they have crossed the path themselves and no one better than them can be able to counsel others with such disabilities.

10. Salesperson:

The role of the salesperson is of someone trying to sell a product or service through his communicating skills.

He has to convince a potential customer about how a product or service would meet their perceived needs.

There is need of salesperson virtually anywhere and is a best job option for a person with disabilities.

11. Self employment:

Owning and running a business, serving as consultant for other businesses, being an independent lawyer, online tutors are all few of the examples from the many self employed jobs available.

One carrying out self employment can work from home or personal office space and in some cases in client’s office.

12. Accessibility consulting:

It comprises of consulting the organisations on how they can improve their offices and neighbouring areas and make them more user friendly for the people with various disabilities.

13. Teacher:

Teacher is someone who helps people of different age groups develop intellectually and specialise in new skills.

The people with disability can help others with disability or without, through their experienced proficiency.

They can be involved in online education too. With the required education or if the disability was struck later in one’s life, they can teach about their former profession to others.

14. Writers:

Writers have to communicate via their written words to the readers. One can write on whatever he knows, possibly about disability. Writing articles in magazines, newspapers, web or eBooks or blogs is possible.

One can be self employed by writing books.

Companies or non-profit organisations also hire individuals to convey their messages to the readers through newsletters, brochures, press releases and other promotional stuff for which one must be a very persuasive writer.

by K. Khrishnan

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Job hunting horrors: Eight real jobseeker phobias and their remedies

Sunday, July 7th, 2019

It doesn’t matter if you’re a fresh graduate or a seasoned professional – we all have job hunting phobias that we dread every time we embark on a new job search. Having gone through it before doesn’t necessarily make it easier the next time, as each hirer is different and tends to adopt varied approaches towards the recruitment process.

Here are eight job hunting phobias, plus our recommended tips on getting over them:

1. Believing you’re not qualified for anything

Feel like you’ll never measure up to hirers’ standards? Looking through the thousands of job openings  out there, it is impossible that you won’t find anything that matches your skills and experience and yet feeling inadequate is a common fear for many jobseekers.

Overcome your self-doubt by carefully studying job descriptions and see whether you have what they need and want in a candidate.

Take stock of your past experiences and believe in your abilities to be a worthy choice for the role.

Did you find requirements that go beyond the scope of your experience? If you’re missing out on one or two job criteria, you can still push on and apply for the vacancy  – oftentimes part of growing in your career requires you to face new challenges head on. Just believe in yourself and your capabilities!

2. Finding a new job or employer that you’ll end up hating again

Those who left their jobs on a negative note may have this fear once they start looking for a job again.

It’s a legitimate concern as who wants to leave an unpleasant situation, only to end up in another unpleasant situation once again?

And yet there are ways for you to scope out potential job opportunities or employers for crucial information before you commit to anything.

You can read up on Company Reviews made by former and current employees before even sending out your applications. You can even ask your loved ones if they’re affiliated with your target companies for some info.

During the interview, ask probing questions on the company’s culture to see whether it’s a place you’ll fit and thrive in.

Have you already received a job offer? Be clear with your expectations and carefully examine the terms and requirements of the job so you don’t end up making another bad choice.

Next up, let’s look at the common phobias of jobseekers about a very important, but fear-inducing stage of the job search process: the job interview.

3. Having to role-play or present during an interview

Some companies have elaborate interview processes to identify the best and most competent candidates in the talent pool.

This can include complex assessment centres complete with role-playing exercises, psychometric testing, group presentations, as well as personal and aptitude tests. If you’re one of those with a role-playing phobia, we feel you.

If you get a heads-up that role-playing will be part of the assessment, you can practice with a friend to get comfortable with it.

It’s easy to look up common role-playing exercises based on the job you’re interviewing for.

Even if there’s no pre-warning that they will expect you to role-play, being prepared is always a good idea.

Think of it as a fun game, and an opportunity to flex that imaginative mind!

4. Being asked personal questions

This isn’t usually the norm – most hirers know better than to drill candidates on personal matters, but there’s always an exception to the rule.

It might just be your luck that you end up with an inquisitive interviewer who wants to know about your marital status, plans to start a family, sexuality, religious and political views, etc.

You can try to deflect the questions with neutral answers or simply change the topic by asking them a question of your own instead.

Hopefully the interviewer will get the hint that you’re not comfortable answering these questions and move on to work-related questions instead.

5.  Appearing clueless during the interview

It’s an awful feeling when the interviewer talks about a topic you’re not well-informed on and therefore can’t think of an intelligent comment to respond with.

For example, if the interviewer makes an observation about industry trends in specific countries or cultures that you’re not familiar with, you can respond by asking questions about it instead.

This shows your interest in learning more about it, even if you don’t have any personal opinions to contribute to the discussion.

6. Forgetting your spiel or crucial information during the interview

Stumbling over a job interview question can be pretty traumatizing, but it’s not the end of the world.

Nerves can leave feeling you tense and may even cause you to forget some of the things you rehearsed prior to the interview, so it’s best to be extra prepared ahead of time.

Do practice interview drills with a trusted friend before the interview, as well as review up on possible questions for your intended job or industry.

Already in the middle of the interview when you suddenly couldn’t come up with an answer? Relax, pause and gather your thoughts.

Calmly ask the interviewer to repeat the question so you can form a coherent answer.

Or you can own up to it and admit you’re feeling nervous – responsible hirers won’t take it against you if you do.

7. Committing a blooper during the interview

We’ve all been there. Whether it’s mispronouncing the CEO’s name or making a joke that fell completely flat, we’ve all been guilty of embarrassing faux pas during job interviews.

It happens – we are but human beings. Just stay calm, breathe, apologise, and move on.

Don’t harp on it as that just reminds the interviewer of your slip-up. Put it out of your mind for the moment.

You can berate yourself for it after the interview is over.

8. Accidental spills or mishaps on your interview attire

If you’re a woman and you’re on your period, you’ll know better than to wear anything light coloured on the day of the interview.

Stick to dark colours, especially for trousers or skirts. It will save you a lot of hassle and potential embarrassment!

If the interview is after lunch, it’s common sense not to eat anything messy for lunch, and you definitely don’t want to have any food or drink in the car with you.

To play it safe, wear a dark jacket.

You will be glad you did, in the event that someone accidentally trips and spills something on you.

Job hunting can be a scary process, but it’s all part of the experience.

Live and learn, as the saying goes. Whatever your job hunting phobias are, you can either take the opportunity to overcome them, or you can learn something about yourself through them.


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Industry-ready skills, technical knowledge for career progression

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019
(File pix) Assistant engineer, Khairul Anuar Othman, 25 at New Hong Fatt, Klang. NSTP/Syarafiq Abd Samad

WHEN Khairul Anuar Othman, 25, sat the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination eight years ago, he never imagined he would one day become an assistant engineer.

All the young man from Kampung Meru in Klang, Selangor wanted was to get a job as quickly as he could.

“I am someone who just can’t sit still with nothing to do. I knew that I just wanted to work after finishing school,” he said.

And coming from a humble background, the SMK Meru, Klang school-leaver was adamant that he earned his keep and contributed to the family.

The fifth of six children whose father was a Pos Malaysia employee and mother, a housewife, had heard about Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at school during a talent recruitment initiative by New Hoong Fatt Holdings Bhd (NHF).

TVET encompasses formal and informal learning that prepares young people with the knowledge and skills required in the world of work.

NHF manufactures more than 3,300 automotive parts in-house and exports to more than 50 countries worldwide. It is located nearby Khairul’s school and it frequently conducts TVET awareness programmes at schools in the area to develop its talent pipeline.

With help from NHF, Khairul embarked on his TVET journey — working while attending various apprenticeship programmes — and is currently employed by the company.


Armed with a SPM certificate and guidance from NHF, Khairul applied and qualified for the Workers Technical Transformation Programme, an entry-level apprenticeship course.

Conducted by the Selangor Human Resource Development Centre (SHRDC) at its premises in Shah Alam, the six-month government-funded course comprises a learning approach that has both theoretical and technical aspects. Here, Khairul learnt the workings of pneumatic, hydraulics, electrical and mechanical systems which enabled him to obtain the Malaysian Skills Certificate Level 1 (Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia 1) and Level 2 (SKM 2).

With the qualifications and his SPM certificate, Khairul went to NHF for a job interview.

But instead of getting a job as a factory worker as he expected, Khairul was offered to join the NHF Auto Global Manufacturing Skill Programme which includes an opportunity to gain industrial qualification and experience in the manufacturing industry, preparing participants for a long-term career in the company.

“The programme comprises four months in the classroom and two months of practical training while earning a monthly salary at the company for two years. After discussing with my family, I felt that this was a great career opportunity for me,” added Khairul.

He started his career at NHF as a production operator with a starting pay of RM1,040, which he felt was a good remuneration for a SPM school-leaver. After two years of work and project experience, he obtained SKM 3 certification with skills such as writing technical reports and was promoted to the post of junior technician and onto technician.

Khairul’s dedication to his job and his eagerness to learn subsequently qualified him to join the first batch of the Malaysian Meister Programme (MMP).

Adapted from the German Meister (master craftsman) programme, MMP is a collaborative effort between SHRDC and the Federation of Malaysian Skills Development Centre aimed at improving opportunities for training and career advancement in the industry. SHRDC and NHF have been partnering on the MMP since 2015.

A two-year programme, there are two types of MMP — MMP in Mechatronics for Manufacturing which Khairul participated in, and MMP in Precision Machining. Both offer full-time employment with NHF, with in-training and industry-related training. The programmes offer career prospects as senior technician, technologist and associate engineer.

MMP instructors are highly qualified as they are trained by HWK Aachen, a leading vocational training centre in Germany.

During MMP, participants work on the shopfloor for four days and attend classes for two days. The students are guided closely with hands-on learning when working in the facilities, which exposes them to real-world work experience.

“Every week, the 16 of us in the first batch worked from Monday till Thursday while on Friday and Saturday, we spent in class. It was tough juggling work and studies as well as life outside work but well worth the knowledge and skills we acquired,” said Khairul.

Upon completing the programme, he was awarded the Diploma Lanjutan Kemahiran Malaysia Level 5 certification. He was also promoted to assistant engineer at the laser department in NHF.

“When I was informed of the promotion, I was truly surprised. I always felt inferior to school friends who have gone on for studies at renowned universities in Malaysia and obtained diplomas and degrees.

“I never imagined I could get the position that required qualifications equivalent to theirs.

“Now I realise that success does not solely depend on obtaining a certificate, it also requires effort and fortitude.”

NHF managing director Chin Jit Sin said the manufacturing facility’s laser section has computer numerical control machines from Germany as well as robot lasers. The equipment is increasingly becoming more sophisticated in tandem with Industry 4.0 trends.

“As technology advances, we need people to know how to manage the progress. They must also know the machines — how to operate, maintain and maximise their efficiency.

“MMP has enabled the participants to further enhance their knowledge not only in class but also on the shopfloor,” said Chin, adding that all 16 participants from the first batch are employed by NHF.

Khairul is an example of the quality of the MMP programme. He programmes the machines and manages production.

The second batch of MMP participants sat the final exam in May and the third batch that started in February 2018 has one more year to go before completing the programme.


Chin said finding and retaining skilled talent are common issues faced by most Malaysian manufacturers.

“Specialised skillsets make some positions in the manufacturing industry hard to fill. The perception that a career in manufacturing is not professionally and financially rewarding makes it even harder for manufacturers to recruit talent. This is one of the many reasons why manufacturers in the country depend highly on foreign workers.

“NHF has been pro-actively managing these issues by collaborating with training development providers and has introduced its own apprenticeship programme to ensure it has the right and skilled labour force for the group of companies to grow,” he said.

Meanwhile SHRDC executive director Tan Beng Teong commented that the progress and the needs of the industry have typically outpaced the talent development by public higher education institutions.

“Simply put, there will always be gaps the between needs of the industry and the output from public institutions. It is not because public institutions are not good, but it is hard to keep pace with advancement in technology and other demands that the industry is facing.

“Demand-driven TVET education created through centres such as ours — which is a partnership between the federal government, state government and the industry — can help alleviate the issue of talent gaps in trainees that come from public institutions.

“This way, our investors can keep on investing and not worry about talent needs of the industry. And youths can acquire the necessary skills to gain employment and have careers that are financially rewarding,” he said.

Going beyond MMP, SHRDC is in the midst of developing an apprenticeship programme that will enable participants to gain degree-level qualifications, specifically a Bachelor of Technology degree with Industry 4.0 capabilities.

“It will be a two-year programme and we hope to test the first batch at the end of the year or early next year,” added Tan.

Also on the cards is tri-vocational training for polytechnic students to work with the industry, assisted by SHRDC, during semester breaks. Students will get a college education and workplace and industry competency certification upon completing their studies.

“We want to test this model going forward but in specific industries where it is more suitable.”

Since its inception in 1992, SHRDC has trained more than 80,000 individuals. It has 30 institutional members in Malaysia, including NHF, Colgate-Palmolive, Texas Instruments and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority.

Improve your presentation skills to ace a presentation like a pro

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

When you watch TED Talks or any public speaking event, do you ever wonder how the speaker can make it seem so easy? Speaking confidently and persuasively in front of an audience isn’t something that comes naturally for most people. However, it is a skill that can be picked up with enough practice.

Whether you’re simply presenting to fellow colleagues or have to impress some prospective clients, knowing how to pull off a great presentation is an important soft skill to have, particularly if you’re planning on moving up the ranks.

So if you’re in need of some tips on how to improve your presentation skills, look no further. Check these out:

Know your audience

Design your presentation as if you were a member of the audience – put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself what are the three main takeaways you would want them to have by the end of your presentation. Your slides should go straight to the point and not be cluttered with too many words or images.

Make sure that you cover the things that they need to know and would want to know.

You may be an expert in the subject matter, but in your presentation, don’t assume that everyone knows what you know.

Explain things clearly and simply, and avoid using jargon as much as possible. Your presentation should give listeners something of value, be it a solution or a lesson.

Tell it in story form

The best way to keep your presentation engaging is to use stories to hone in on your key messages or to emphasise your point.

Tell an anecdote or two to make your presentation more personal and relatable – it doesn’t even have to be your own story, but as long as it’s interesting and relevant, use it to your advantage.

Go beyond text and pictures by using a short video or other multimedia to spice things up.

However, it should enhance what you’re trying to say, not drown it out unnecessarily.

You should also tailor your content to your audience and the occasion: we’d advise against using funny GIFs or memes in a board meeting (unless your company culture is cool with that and it helps to break the ice a bit – but do so at your own discretion).

Present with your entire body

Statues and robots aren’t known for giving memorable presentations, and that’s because non-verbal cues make up a significant portion of interpersonal communication.

So make sure you’re moving about! But not too much – keep it natural.

Open and relaxed gestures will help your audience feel open and relaxed, too.

One of the best ways to make a connection with listeners is to make eye contact and smile.

Avoid crossing your arms across your chest, putting your hands behind your back or in your pockets, and staring down at the floor.

Use your emotions

Emotions are a powerful thing: facts and statistics may be informative, but if you fail to link them to your audience and the things they care about, they will probably forget what you said by the next day.

Infuse your delivery with emotion and why your audience should care.

When you exude enthusiasm and passion about the subject you’re talking about, your audience will feel it and they too will feel more interested in what you have to say.

Speak deliberately and don’t rush your sentences like you’re reading off a script. Instead, pretend like it’s a conversation.

Practice, practice, practice

You should know your subject matter and key points like the back of your hand, which is why prep work is so important.

Prepare an outline with keywords relating to your main points and examples, and rehearse your speech out loud – either to yourself in front of a mirror, or even better, in front of trusted friends or co-workers.

The more you practice, the more prepared you’ll be when the time comes for the actual presentation.

You’ll be able to weed out what works and what doesn’t, and time yourself to make sure you don’t drone on and on.

Set it up properly

Having technical difficulties during your presentation can throw you off, so smoothing out all the kinks beforehand will ensure that everything goes smoothly.

We recommend that you arrive at the venue early and do a brief test run to check whether everything works, such as videos, animations or sound.

Save a copy of the fonts you used and the multimedia you want to show in a pendrive, along with your presentation.

Do you need the internet during the presentation? Make sure it works and that you’re connected.

If you’re using a remote or a pointer, try them out to see if they work.

Doing all this will help you avoid tripping up just as you’re approaching the finishing line. – Jobstreet

by  Jobstreet.

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Maternity and paternity leave: It’s more than just profit and loss

Monday, June 24th, 2019

Fatherhood and motherhood are not mutually exclusive activities from employment. Many talented mothers and fathers are willing to contribute to organisations that provide a work-life balance. — NSTP Archive

THE Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has stated that the three-day paternity leave proposed by the Human Resources Ministry, to be funded by employers, will cost companies RM157.2 million or RM 52.4 million a day.

MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan has suggested for the cost of such leave to be borne by the Social Security Organisation (Socso) or the Employment Insurance System (EIS).

While the approach is used in other countries, the question is whether Socso or EIS has enough funds to undertake the task.

Could MEF enlighten the public on the methodology it used to calculate the losses?

There has not been an increase in Socso contribution over the years. It is vital for the government, employers and unions to review the feasibility of using Socso and EIS to finance paternity and maternity leave, and whether contributions should be increased.

The fundamental questions are, why is there a need for a duration of paternity and maternity leave, and how is it related to modern employment?

Does allowing the father and mother to bond with their baby create stronger families and lead to retention of talent and improved productivity?

Fatherhood and motherhood are not mutually exclusive activities from employment.

Many talented mothers and fathers are willing to contribute to organisations that provide a work-life balance.

Employers who want paternity or maternity leave to form a crucial part of talent pool and retain this talent must strengthen its human touch.

Productivity, in the long term, is about creating the right conditions for the development of human capital in terms of attracting diverse talents.

Attracting a variety of talent with diverse needs is crucial for organisational survival in a competitive economic environment.


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