Wednesday, June 29, 2005

"Mismatch of skills and jobs"

The Star yesterday (Tue, 28th June) had an article on "Mismatch of skills and jobs", which it attributes as the reason "why many ICT grads are jobless".

A mismatch in skills is costing many local information communications technology (ICT) graduates jobs in the industry.

The Association of the Computer and Multimedia Industry Malaysia (Pikom) and information technology companies cited this as the main factor for local graduates not being hired.
And because of this, Pikom human resource development special interest group chairman, Mr Woon Tai Hai recommended that:

... our universities should implement longer industrial training period of at least six months and also have more collaborations with industries, especially in research and development.
I'm particularly concerned about this type of fairly unsound recommendations (which we have heard many times) being published so prominently in the major local newspapers. Extending the industrial training period in general, will not make our graduates more employable (not by much anyway). I'd be happy to employ many of our graduates even if they have not attended a single day of industrial training. At the same time, I'd never make an offer for certain candidates even if they have had 2 years' worth of industrial training. I've written quite extensively on some of the unemployability issues, you can read them at the links below:
Most importantly, as highlighted by Chris Chan, chief executive offer of The Media Shoppe in the same article:
... some local ICT graduates lacked fundamental technical skills and only had knowledge of basic software such as Microsoft Office (!)
The problem is largely either the poor ICT curriculum of many of our local universities/colleges that doesn't seem teach anything to our ICT students or these students shouldn't have been taking ICT courses in the first place.

I also agree with Chris that, "there were... good local graduates whose technical skills were on par with those foreign ones". I just hope that the authorities do not jump the gun too hastily and decide to one day implement hare-brained measures which will not be beneficial to our university students on the basis of some misplaced reasonings and rationale.


Danny said...

You know what. I have to agree to an extent on what you're saying here. It's not about the industrial training.

I'm thinking it could be the lecturers. Some lecturers are freshly graduated from the university and just take up tutoring. I think what we might need are experienced working people lecturing. People who share their real life knowledge with students and weave that into the subjects they're learning.

I've felt that I learnt more about the business from my marketing lecturer than probably what could be thought by some normal inexperienced people. Why? Because my lecturer does it part time while handling his business outside. He doesn't mind sharing his experiences with students and even provide suggestion not even relating to the subject being taught.

Experience is something you can't teach but you can tell and prepare the students for it. :) That's how I feel.

YT Kuah said...

"I'd be happy to employ many of our graduates even if they have not attended a single day of industrial training"

:) That's good, considering the widely held perception that employers in Malaysia are reluctant to train their employees 'for fear they'll run away'

Anyway, these calls for more industrial training might be related to above...