BANGI, March 12 — The 2020 Graduate Tracer Study conducted by the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) recorded the graduate employability rate at 84.4 per cent last year, down slightly from 86.2 per cent in 2019, said its Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad.
The data, however, surpassed the MoHE's initial projection of 75 per cent, she said.
"During the time when the country is affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially from the economic aspect that reduces employment opportunities, the 1.8 per cent decline is not that significant," she said, adding that the MoHE's intervention in improving the employability of graduates could be described as effective.
Noraini said this in her speech at the handing over ceremony of the apprenticeship letters for the MoHE-Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) Graduate Employability Industry 4.0 programme here today.
Also present was MTDC chief executive officer Datuk Norhalim Yunus.
Noraini said among the career enhancement initiatives implemented by the MoHE are entrepreneurship development programmes such as 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, she said.
“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," she said.
Noraini said the MoHE-MTDC Graduate Employability Industry 4.0 programme, implemented in 2018, was showing positive results when about 80 per cent or 243 participants out of 303 graduates who were offered apprenticeship, had received permanent job offers.
In this current programme, she said a total of 200 graduates of public institutions of higher learning (IPTA) were offered apprenticeships at 177 local companies for a period of three months and they had to go through four phases of training, namely Career Enhancement Workshops, Industry Speed Interview, Industry Attachment and Job Placement.
Meanwhile, Norhalim said it was expected that more than 80 per cent of the participants of the MoHE-MTDC Graduate Employability Industry 4.0 programme would be absorbed to work in companies where they underwent apprenticeships.
He 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 said.
Norhalim said MTDC was in discussions with the MoHE to continue the graduate placement programme. — Bernama