In the Chapter 11 of the Plan entitled "Human Capital Development", which is essentially the key chapter for Kian Ming and myself to read, it appears that one of the measures the Government is seeking to implement is an Electronic Labour Exchange (ELX) to improve labour market information and reduce unemployment due to mismatch.
11.42 Labour Market Information. The implementation of Electronic LabourThis is quite interesting in that the Government wants to play match-maker in the market today. I just hope that they will think this through thoroughly before deciding that we need another electronic labour exchange.
Exchange (ELX) will be improved for effective placement of jobseekers as well as dissemination of labour market information to ensure efficient functioning of the labour market. In this regard, education and training institutions will provide information on their graduates to the ELX including their employment status to facilitate job placement.
Effective measures will be undertaken to disseminate information on ELX to stakeholders including employers, students and jobseekers. Employers will be encouraged to make regular use of ELX to register job vacancies and provide feedback on placement. A mechanism will be established to monitor and ensure optimum utilisation of ELX. In addition, greater efforts will be undertaken to facilitate graduates, particularly those who have participated in Government- sponsored education and training programmes to secure employment.
Well, you will have noted that I mentioned "another" electronic labour exchange. The reason is simple, we have one of the most successful electronic labour exchanges in Malaysia already - and I'm certain that most of you readers out there who are in the job market (or are going to be) will have your resume published in Jobstreet.com. If I may hazard a guess, every prospective graduate worth his salt will have submitted his resume into the repository. Without sounding like a plug for Jobstreet, it has some of the best mechanisms for jobseekers to apply for jobs while providing powerful tools for employers to filter, sort and shortlist their candidates (well, improvements can still be made, but you get the gist).
Why should the Government attempt to build another ELX, probably at the cost of millions, without taking into consideration the various measures (and their associated cost) to promote the exchange? Why should the Government attempt to reinvent the wheels?
In this particular case, instead of having the precious funds invested in another exchange with no (or possibly even little) assurance of success in its objectives, the funds should instead be used to enable Jobstreet.com to be even more accessible by prospective employees and employers. It'll probably cost less for the Government to subsidize the employers placing advertisements in the well-oiled Jobstreet mechanism to encourage "effective placement of jobseekers as well as dissemination of labour market information to ensure efficient functioning of the labour market".
Hey, you guys at Jobstreet, time to start lobbying the Ministry of Human Resources to make sure that the Government does the right thing. There's really no point for the Government to attempt another "Exchange", which in all likelihood will be an expensive failure for Jobstreet has done an exceptional job in cornering the job placement and advertisement market in Malaysia. And guess what? They are not at all expensive (relative to the press ads anyway). It costs less than RM400 per advertisement which lasts for 1 month.
Hey, you guys at Ministry of Human Resources - if you make full use of Jobstreet.com, not only will the Exchange be off the ground running immediately, and you get to see immediate returns to your investment, you will get to help promote one of our local internet MSC companies at well, which is one of the ICT objectives of the 9MP as well. So you get to kill 2 birds with a single stone!