Graduate employability drops marginally to 84.4% in Malaysia

Malaysia’s graduate employability rate fell to 84.4% in 2020, down marginally from 86.2% year-on-year, said its Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE).
By: | March 16, 2021

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad revealed this in the 2020 Graduate Tracer Study conducted by the MoHE. She said 2020’s figure was higher than MoHE’s initial projection of 75%.  

At a time when the country is affected by the pandemic – especially from the economic point of view, which reduces employment opportunities – the 1.8-percentage-point decline is not that significant, she said. 

She added that the MoHE’s initiatives to improve the employability of graduates could be described as effective. Among MoHE’s career enhancement initiatives are entrepreneurship development programmes such as the collaboration with the Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd which provides entrepreneurship training to graduates and the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (Medac) for the MoHE-MEDAC Siswapreneur programme.  

In addition, “MoHE also carries out job matching programmes together with the Social Security Organisation (Socso) and graduate employability programmes in collaboration with the ministry’s strategic partners. The ministry is always committed in improving the employability of graduates, and ensuring that they get jobs that match their qualifications,” Noraini said. 

Noraini was speaking at the presentation ceremony of apprenticeship letters for the MoHE-Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) Graduate Employability Industry 4.0 programme last Friday. 

She said the MoHE-MTDC Graduate Employability Industry 4.0 programme, launched in 2018, has shown positive results where about 80% or 243 participants out of 303 graduates who underwent apprenticeship, had received permanent job offers. 

The programme’s current cohort of 200 graduates of public institutions of higher learning (IPTA) have been offered apprenticeships at 177 local companies for three months and they had to go through four phases of training, namely, career enhancement workshops, industry speed interview, industry attachment and job placement. 

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MTDC CEO Datuk Norhalim Yunus said the graduate placement programme not only provided apprenticeship for graduates, but also helped small companies, especially under the technology ecosystem, to get good potential employees. 

“In the current situation, these small companies may not be able to afford a probation period of six months. So, with this programme, we hope it can help technology companies that are still in the developing phase, to get quality employees,” he added, according to Bernama.