Graduate Unemployment in Malaysia

Topics: Higher education, Education, Soft skills Pages: 3 (685 words) Published: February 6, 2011
Unemployed graduates have become a cause of concern in Malaysia. The findings of a Graduate Tracer Study in 2006 involving 132 900 graduates from institutions of higher learning all over Malaysia indicated that 30.7% of graduates remained unemployed six months after graduation, while 5.7% were still awaiting job placement (Tan, 2007). The Minister of Human Resources revealed that more female graduates in this country were unemployed because they lacked the relevant skills required in the labor market despite having excellent academic results. The number was much higher in comparison to male graduates (Nor Hartini, 2007). As there are so many unemployed graduates at present, we need to find out why this problem exists and what can be done to overcome it.

One reason for this problem is that the focus of higher education institutions and the needs of the labor market for graduates are not as compatible as they were twenty years ago. The labor market is now more competitive and volatile. As a result, graduates, face difficulties in getting jobs because they are not ready for the industry (Tan, 2007). For instance, the knowledge of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) acquired by students does not quite meet the expectations of the industry.

Lack of experience and skills are also causes of graduate unemployment. Generally, most organizations prefer to employ graduates with experience. Furthermore, in Malaysia, the private sector today is not interested in recruiting local graduates because they lack essential skills, such as proficiency in English and interpersonal skills (Nor Hartini, 2007). There appears to be a disparity between what employers require and what skills graduates have.

In view of this, the government has implemented several measures to reduce the problem of graduate unemployment. One such measure is the introduction of several training programmes for fresh graduates. For instance, the Ministry of Human Resources, through their...
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