Archive for the ‘Careers’ Category

It’s your poor attitude, youths told

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

GEORGE TOWN: Fresh graduates cannot find jobs after completing their studies because they have attitude problems.

StudyExcel Sdn Bhd general manager Jerry Tan (pic) said some blamed the employers for not giving them a chance because they are fresh graduates.

“Is that true? The Malaysia Employers Federation said there are about 200,000 unemployed graduates in the country.

“Many employers are not concerned whether you are a fresh graduate or whether you obtained your degree in Malaysia or overseas.

“They just care if you are good,” he said in his talk on ‘Options After SPM: Choosing The Right Subjects & Pathways’ at the Star Education Fair yesterday.

He added that 68% of employers think that fresh graduates have unrealistic expectations of salaries and employment benefits.

“I once interviewed three students from a college who asked for the same salary.

“When I asked them why they made that request, they said their lecturer told them they must get that kind of salary,” he said.

Besides their poor attitude, Tan said most fresh graduates were unemployed because of their poor English and poor communication skills.

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Poor English skills a major complaint in every industry

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

GEORGE TOWN: Employers have voiced their concerns over the poor command of English among new graduates entering the job market.

Star Media Group Berhad editor-in-chief Datuk Leanne Goh (pic) said it was no secret that English proficiency was one of the vital skills lacking among Malaysian graduates.

“We see that is the major complaint in every industry,” she said in her speech during the opening of the Star Education Fair 2017 at SPICE Arena on Saturday.

Quoting Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma, Goh said there is a need for people to think creatively, to be innovative and to really imagine.

“These are the traits that we need to empower our kids with,” Goh said.

She then presented testimonials from past scholarship recipients of the Star Education Fund.

“We have given away RM108.3mil to 3,582 scholarship recipients since the fund was established 1994.

“This year, we have 29 partners-in-education which pledged a total of 272 scholarships valued at RM13mil.

“From this, Penangites will receive 53 scholarships worth over RM1mil from five of our partners-in-education,” she said.

She thanked the five institutions from the northern region – Equator College, KDU Penang University College, Sentral College Penang, MSU College Penang and Sunway College Ipoh – for their pledge to contribute to the Star Education Fund.

Goh then welcomed three new partners-in-education namely Quest International University Perak, Oriental Nilam College of Nursing and Health Sciences and Malaysian Institute of Art this year. (2017)

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Producing competent professionals for the job

Sunday, March 5th, 2017
The National Consumer Complaints Centre received 192 complaints on construction or renovation in 2015.

The National Consumer Complaints Centre received 192 complaints on construction or renovation in 2015.

Players argue the time is ripe for the renovation industry to raise its standards.

SOME people say finding a good renovation contractor can be as difficult as striking the lottery. Or in some cases, there is a better chance of winning the lottery than being able to find an honest and competent contractor.

A survey of consumer tribunals reveal that disputes with contractors is rather common.

For example, New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs handles thousands of such inquiries and complaints each year – and this refers only to licensed home improvement contractors.

According to the National Consumer Complaints Centre, which is affiliated with the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations, it received 192 complaints on construction or renovation in 2015, which underscores the gravity of the problem.

Not surprisingly, even those in the renovation industry here find it hard to defend their counterparts.

Chew says it is time the industry raises its standards so that the renovation contracting business can be seen as a respectable one.

Chew says it is time the industry raises its standards so that the renovation contracting business can be seen as a respectable one.

“When it comes to the list of professions that the public considers most untrustworthy, I am sure that renovation contractors will come up at the top of the list,” said Desmond Chew, 42, construction manager for My Living Construction & Renovation Sdn Bhd.

Set up five years ago, My Living is a small outfit based in Kajang, Selangor that handles more than three dozen renovation jobs all over Klang Valley at any given time.

Billing itself as a one-stop renovation (including interior decoration) services setup, My Living wants to change the way the renovation business is conducted in the country.

For Chew, a systematic way to teach the nitty gritty of the industry in a way that resembles Technical Vocational Education and Training will lead to a generation professional contractors.

“We want to move away from the common scenario where the contractor strolls in to give a lump sum quotation, all the while wearing shorts, and probably with cigarette in hand,” said Chew, who feels strongly that it is time the industry raised its standards so that the renovation contracting business could be seen as a respectable one.

In the case of Malaysia, it is starting at a very low base. Firstly, there is no requirement that a houseowner must hire a contractor affiliated with the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) or any professional body to renovate his house.

Contractors don’t normally share what they consider trade secrets, such as how to measure and make cabinets.

Contractors don’t normally share what they consider trade secrets, such as how to measure and make cabinets.

“Sometimes, it can be based on introductions or referrals from friends, acquaintances or relatives. But there is no guarantee of competency,” said Chew, who has been called by dissatisfied customers to take care of the mess left behind when the original contractor absconds, or just gives up on the job due to various reasons, such as cash flow problems.

There are easily more than 10,000 renovation contractors in Klang Valley alone. The majority enter the business through the “school of hard knocks” that involves a lot of trial-and-error, or by just watching how others do it (correctly or otherwise).

According to the Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM), most renovation contractors are not MBAM members. “These so-called renovation contractors may not even be registered with CIDB. Quite often, most of these contractors may offer a lower price than the registered ones.

“However, the work they carry out are mostly based on their own understanding and experience, which sometimes may not be in accordance with industry standards, possibly leading to quality, safety and timeline issues,” it said in a statement.

Chew also cut his teeth in the industry the same way. His foray into the construction industry began when he worked as a salesperson for a renovation company.


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Medicos no longer guaranteed civil service employment

Thursday, January 19th, 2017
'Permanent appointments will be based on their merit during housemanship training and recommendation by the Health director-general.' - Datuk Seri Dr Chen Chaw Min

Permanent appointments will be based on their merit during housemanship training and recommendation by the Health director-general.’ – Datuk Seri Dr Chen Chaw Min

EXCLUSIVE: PETALING JAYA: Permanent employment for doctors, pharmacists and dentists in the civil service is no longer guaranteed.

The Government has started issuing jobs on a contract basis for them since last month as announced in Budget 2017.

According to the Health Ministry, if doctors successfully completed their housemanship within the three years of contract, they would have another two-year contract for compulsory service as a medical officer.

Pharmacists will be hired as provisionally registered pharmacists (PRP) for one year, with a maximum contract offered for two years and for the compulsory service thereafter, one year, with a maximum contract offered for one year.

There is no compulsory internship for dentists and compulsory service for them is one year, with a maximum contract offered for three years.

Health Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Chen Chaw Min said from last month, 1,219 candidates had been offered jobs on a contract basis by the Public Service Commission.

“Permanent appointments will be based on their merit during housemanship training and recommendation by the Health director-general,” he said in an e-mail to The Star.

The move, he said, is expected to reduce waiting time for housemanship training and compulsory service.

Dr Chen said competent staff who fulfilled specific requirements will get permanent posts but they may not immediately get the posts until there are vacancies.

Their salaries will be backdated to the date of appointment once the posts are available, he said.

He said for government scholars who have not been offered permanent posts in the ministry upon completion of their compulsory service, they could seek jobs in the university and military hospitals and the private sector.

He also said that for this year, the ministry planned to take in 9,300 candidates – six batches of intakes which will involve 5,425 candidates for house officers (housemen), three batches (1,921) for dental officers and four batches (1,954) for pharmacists.

He added that housemen will enjoy the same benefits received by permanent house officers as stipulated in a 2008 circular on contract of service with additional advantages.

Those under this “modified contract” will have full-pay medical leave up to 90 days, and the extension of medical treatment for parents in government hospitals and clinics, he said.

But only those who are appointed as permanent medical officers and have obtained their confirmation in service are eligible to apply for government housing loans, he said.

The monthly basic pay of a houseman is the same as the grade category UD41 of the permanent service which is RM2,947, while a dentist (grade UG41) gets RM2,844 and a pharmacist (UF41) RM2,740. With allowances, they could get RM4,000.

On the criteria for a permanent medical officer post, Dr Chen said doctors must fulfil the service requirements, including attaining a good level of competency and performance of at least 85% in the yearly performance review during their house­man­­­ship training or compulsory service.


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Poor ratings for fresh graduates

Sunday, November 27th, 2016
Sharma and Chook (front row, fifth and seventh from left), with INTI students at the varsity’s career services centre.

Sharma and Chook (front row, fifth and seventh from left), with INTI students at the varsity’s career services centre.

IN a recent survey, employers expressed their dissatisfaction over the standard of fresh graduates today.

At least 70% of respondents said the standards of fresh graduates were just average.

The ratings were not linked to their academic qualifications but to their poor attitude and communication skills shown during interviews or at work.

Therefore, took the opportunity to launch its first Graduate Employability Programme in collaboration with INTI International University and Colleges (INTI) to tackle the issue.

The programme consists of four segments – a Career Corner, student ambassadors, career services and an executive review.

These segments function as a centre for students to prepare themselves for their first job. country manager Chook Yuh Yng congratulated INTI for its effort in empowering students to build bridges for their future careers as well as preparing them to enter the workforce.

“ is proud to have INTI as its partner to set up a Career Corner, making it easier and more accessible for students to get assistance on their first job,” she said.

INTI chief executive officer Rohit Sharma said the counselling skills received by its Career Services team and student ambassadors will enable them to work closer with its students be it through the preparation of resumes, mock interviews and providing feedback for the students’ improvement.

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Path to top jobs of tomorrow

Saturday, November 19th, 2016
Top-class library which satisfies students’ needs.

Top-class library which satisfies students’ needs.

SCHOOL leavers these days know what they want and don’t want to waste too much time getting started on their chosen career. Disted College can help guide these go-getters on the path to success.

Renowned as the pioneer pre-university programmes provider in the northern region since 1987, the college offers high quality courses that prepare students for cutting-edge careers not only for today but for tomorrow.

Disted provides two options of Pre-U studies – the Cambridge A-Levels and the South Australia Matriculation (SACE).

Both are internationally recognised pathways to universities worldwide.

The programmes are available in durations of 12 or 18 months to cater to students’ learning needs and pace.

Besides Pre-U programmes, Disted also offers diploma studies in the fields of accounting, business, computing, engineering, creative multimedia and hospitality management.

The programmes come with a dual award qualification, presenting students with not one but two diplomas.

So don’t be left behind. Enroll now for a bright future at Disted College!

Do come to the college’s Open Day from 9am to 5pm today to find out more about the academic programmes available.

Alternatively, contact 04-2296579 or log on to for more information.

About Disted College

Disted is a premier not-for-profit institution of higher learning with 30 years of academic distinction and an alumni base of more than 7,000 students.

It is the pioneer of Pre-U studies in Penang, and with recognised and accredited diploma and degree programmes, the college provides quality and industry-relevant education to students from all walks of life.

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Graduates Need To Master Skills Along With Knowledge – Perlis Raja Muda

Monday, October 24th, 2016

News Pic

ARAU, Oct 23 (Bernama) — Graduates must arm themselves with a variety of skills and have high competitiveness in addition to having excellent qualifications, said Raja Muda of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Faizzuddin Putra Jamalullail .

He said the knowledge acquired at university is based on the subjects majored in and at the same time they must also have skills proficiency to be competent graduates.

“In the past, when the world economy was growing, vocations were ready and waiting for graduates. However, today the situation has changed where it’s the graduates who must hunt for jobs.

“Today the labour market has also changed and wants a flexible and multi-tasking workforce in the employment sector,” he said.

He was speaking at the third session of the 11th convocation of Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) held at Dewan Ilmu, UniMAP Main Campus, Pauh Putra, here today.

Also present was Raja Puan Muda of Perlis, Tuanku Hajah Lailatul Shahreen Akashah Khalil.

Earlier, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin received the instruments of appointment as chancellor of UniMAP for the fourth time effective Dec 13, presented by the chairman of the UniMAP Board of Directors, Datuk Prof Emeritus Dr Zainal Mohamed.


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Reaching out to hire grads

Sunday, August 28th, 2016
Challenging: Mohamad Ihsan says seeking opportunities in career and professional development for local students in the US was a task in itself.

Challenging: Mohamad Ihsan says seeking opportunities in career and professional development for local students in the US was a task in itself.

WITH over 6,000 Malaysian students in the United States (US) Talent Corporation Malaysia (Talentcorp) has found it a mammoth task getting them together.

They’re scattered all over the country’s 50 states that cover a massive land area and three time zones.

This makes arranging career fairs a logistical nightmare as Malaysian employers need to travel to many different cities to meet the students. It is the same for the students too. Many of them live on tight budgets and need to travel quite a distance to get to such events.

Realising the many obstacles facing an overseas student’s job hunt, the National Assembly of Malay-sian Students in America (Namsa) held the US Malaysian Students for Excellence 2016 (US-X) programme in Serdang, Selangor.

Organised together with Talentcorp, the objective was to gather Malaysian student leaders from across the US for a two-day leadership summit.

The students were also given pointers by Leaderonomics, which focused on tapping their potential.

As participants, the students had to pitch ideas on how to improve career-related initiatives that could gather Malaysian students all across the US. More specifically, how employers and Talentcorp could reach out to potential employees.

According to Namsa president Mohamad Ihsan Ahmad Nordin, 22, opportunities in career and professional development in Malaysia was listed as the biggest challenge for Malaysian students in the US.

Through the programme, Mohamad Ihsan said: “We have made a collaborative effort with Talentcorp to connect with our students in the US and for Malaysian companies to reach out to them.”

An idea that caught the attention of Talentcorp, was the one put forth by Ray Lim Zu Yi, called 3Z1T (3 zones 1 time).

Ray said that it involved creating a virtual career fair that made use of video call technology to connect people.

“Rather than meeting the candidates physically, we are able to have Skype sessions between recruiters and students,” he said,.

He added that they didn’t want to “fully digitalise” the career fair but wanted to keep some form of live interaction possible to better gauge potential employees.


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‘If you want to be the best, we’ll give you the opportunity’

Saturday, August 27th, 2016
Fernandes delivering his speech at the Power Talks series on Saturday

Fernandes delivering his speech at the Power Talks series on Saturday

SHAH ALAM: Cultural diversity is the one of the strengths to AirAsia Bhd’s success, says the airline supremo Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.

The airline, which operates in five countries across Asia, has people from all walks of life and cultures and Fernandes said and any one who has the passion to excel has a chance to do so.

“I don’t care about race, sex, creed, colour or religious affiliations.

“If you want to be the best we will give you the opportunity to be best. We are very proud about that and continue to nurture them,’’ he said at the “Power Talks” series organised by The Star, at the Management and Science University.

He said there was a pilot who had started as an office boy at AirAsia, several women CEOs, a beauty queen who is a pilot at ThaiAirAsia. And the airline which started with no women pilots, now has 52 of them.

“AirAsia is what it is because we have Malays, Chinese, Indians, and others, all working together.

“Now we have become an Asean airline,’’ he adds.

Cultural diversity was also the strength of Malaysia, Fernandes said.

“The strength of Malaysia, that is why I am wearing this thing (#AnakAnakMalaysia wristband), is its multiculturalism.

“In fact, we are the only country in the world with such diversity in cultures.

“The sooner the leaders of the world see this, the better it is for us, and I applaud The Star to raise it at these times. It is the diversity of cultures, people and languages,’’ he adds.

by B.K. SIDHU.

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Work in private sector, local grads told

Friday, August 26th, 2016


Joseph (third left) presenting a letter of appointment to a recipient as Arpah (second left) looks on

KOTA KINABALU: Local graduates and job-seekers have been urged to take up jobs in the private sector which offers rewarding career-pathways and lessen pressure on the increasingly saturated public sector.

“In view of the uncertain economic climate, the government is freezing employing new staff for vacancies of non-critical posts left by retirees which will be filled by existing staff being promoted or interdepartmental transfers,” said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Joseph Entulu Anak Belaun, adding new recruitment for critical posts are still being sought.

Meeting reporters after officiating the Civil Service Career Carnival on Thursday, he said the current policy on public service employment will continue until economy improves.

Malaysia has among the largest civil service in the world, numbering 1.6 million which is the highest civil servant-to-population compared to many developed countries.

Official figures show a total of 1.3 million applications for public sector jobs were received between January 1 and July 30.

In Sabah, the State civil service provides jobs for 124,834 people.

“The percentage of people employed is already quite high, numbering an estimated 300,000 applicants every year, undeniably the civil service is becoming increasingly saturated and there’s a vital need to ensure a more balanced ratio that’s the same with advanced countries,” he said, and emphasised improving the efficiency and productivity in the civil sector.

Additionally, Joseph advised graduates not to be choosy with jobs especially those entering the job market for the first time.

“Taking up seemingly unrelated jobs provide a wealth of work experience which adds value to your resume, improves employability and gives graduates the edge in future public or private job opportunities,” he said.

About 30 people officially received their appointment letters for various civil service post, presented by Joseph, accompanied by Public Service Commission (SPA) chairperson Tan Sri Arpah Binti Abdul Razak during the ceremony on Thursday, in the presence of over 500 government officials, job-seekers, students who attended the career carnival at the State Federal Administrative Complex here.

For those seeking to work with the public service, Joseph underlined the importance for job-seekers to plan their career pathways carefully by selecting suitable courses and studies that are relevant and needed for the position at the government departments.


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