e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

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Enhancing the Employability of Graduates through an Industry-led Initiative

Nora Zakaria and Ramesh Nair

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 27, Issue T1, December 2019

Keywords: Employability, English language proficiency, mentorship, university-industry collaboration

Published on: 29 Apr 2019

The introduction of Vision 2020 as a national policy was aimed at gearing Malaysia for the status of a developed nation. This led to the introduction of numerous initiatives that have been carried out for almost two decades now. It was realised very early on that the move from an agriculture-based economy to one anchored to production and technology was heavily dependent on a competent, highly-qualified workforce. For this reason, the employability of Malaysian graduates became a primary national concern. While the number of institutions of higher learning and the number of graduates increased, industry players had continued to lament about the alleged mismatch between industry needs and the capabilities of graduates. This paper reports on a talent-development programme that was designed and tested to ascertain its effectiveness in preparing unemployed Malaysian graduates for real-world challenges in the industry. Drawing on a content analysis of reports prepared by trainers involved in the running of two cycles of this talent- development programme, we identified emerging themes that drew attention to key elements contributing to the gainful employment of the majority of the participants. The results reveal the importance of industry-led initiatives in dealing with the issue of graduate employability. Mentorship and a well-designed English language proficiency programme were found to have significantly increased the employability of the trainees. These key strengths of the programme serve as a framework for the development of future programmes that should be developed through the collaboration of industry players and institutions of higher learning.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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