They are jobless because what they had learnt has become obsolete.Apparently what is in demand, are "graduates who took certified professional software development courses under the ministry’s Graduate Retraining Scheme".
Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn said the courses they studied were not the latest because the institutions had not kept up with changing technology and job market requirements.
Err... I'm not so sure. Personally, having hired probably more than a hundred "ICT professionals" over the past couple of years, my key criteria has never been the nice sounding certificate courses such as "Microsoft Certified Engineer" (MCE) or "Sun Java Developer Course" etc.
As a comparative example, I wouldn't hire a press officer because she knows how to use a word processor like Microsoft Word. I would hire her because she is extremely competent in the English language. It doesn't matter if the bulk of the text she had been studying was Shakespeare ("obsolete"). If she's good with the language and possess the necessary thinking skills, then I'll hire her even if she has never touched a computer in her life.
Similarly, I've a strong preference of hiring fresh graduates who have had their brains "exercised" in the universities. It doesn't matter if the "languages" they studied were "obsolete" like Pascal, "C", Fortran and not the latest hip programming languages like Java or .NET. Conversely, some of these candidates in possession of the supposedly valuable certificates may be exposed to Java or .NET, but are not good programmers.
Hence, I'm not sure who has been providing the "requests by the hundreds" to the Ministry of Human Resources for these certificate holders but I'll be extremely displeased if our local universities computer science programmes becomes a mere training ground to produce MCEs or Microsoft Certified System Engineers (MCSE) or Sun Certified Java Developers. My views on the cause of graduate unemployment has been written extensively on this blog e.g., here, here and here.
On another matter, according to the Minister, apparently many graduates "did not know how to get information on job vacancies advertised in the ministry’s electronic labour exchange." As such, Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn suggested that electronic kiosks would now be placed at places frequented by youths such as shopping complexes. You must be kidding me. Would you go to a shopping complex, visit a kiosk and shop for jobs?
I've written separately on the Electronic Labour Exchange proposed in the 9th Malaysia Plan here. Its time for the Ministry to get its priorities right.