Industry-Academia Collaboration for GBS sector launched

PERAK, 26 September 2016 – As part of its efforts towards ensuring a sustainable supply of talent for Malaysia’s leading employers, Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad (TalentCorp) in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) and the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) today launched the Industry-Academia Collaboration (IAC) for the Global Business Services (GBS) sectorat the Sector Focused Career Fair (SFCF) University Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) 2016 here in Tanjung Malim. The event was officiated by Deputy Minister of Higher Education, YB Datuk Dr. Mary Yap Kain Ching.    

Following the launch of the first IAC for the E&E sector at the SEMICON Southeast Asia (SEA) 2015 microelectronics exhibition in Penang, IAC-GBS offers a coordinated approach for the sector’s employers and universities to identify areas for collaboration towards enhancing graduate employability. IAC-GBS will also raise awareness among Malaysia’s future workforce of the career opportunities opening up in GBS.

Bridging Malaysia's talent gap in the GBS sector
Supported by its ranking as the third most preferred outsourcing destination globally in AT Kearney’s 2014 Global Services Location Index and the establishment of GBS operations here in the country by over 400 multinational and local companies, the GBS industry is fast gaining momentum in Malaysia and is expected to create an estimated 70,000 new jobs by 2020.

However, based on a 2014 graduate employability survey conducted by TalentCorp in collaboration with the World Bank2, Malaysian employers regularly cite talent as one of their top business challenges, suggesting a mismatch between recent graduates and industry demands. Moreover, based on a 2013 survey by Grant Thornton, 62 percent of Malaysian firms had difficulty finding skilled talent, and 48 percent of Malaysian employers identified a lack of talent as a constraint for future growth. The 2013 survey also found that from an employer’s perspective, local Malaysian graduates were not adequately prepared for the workforce, especially in terms of skills and competencies needed by industry.

As highlighted in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education), addressing the mismatch between graduates and employer demands calls for greater industry-academia collaboration, and for industry participation in the academic space. The importance of public private partnership was also outlined in Budget 2015, with a key measure being an allocation by TalentCorp for the Industry-Academia Collaboration programme through which universities, Government entities and industries collaborate on developing curricula for short courses and industrial training.  

What is IAC-GBS? 
IAC-GBS is an end-to-end model which involves creating awareness; providing internship+ & certification opportunities; implementing curriculum embedment; organising industry-focused competitions and boot camps; and upskilling graduates.
  • Industry Engagement Zone (Ind-E-Zone): One-stop career information centres which connect students to industry-relevant content, and up-to-date information on internship and career opportunities within Malaysia’s key industries.
  • The Sector Focused Career Fair (SFCF) series: Industry-specific career fairs which create greater awareness and access to internship and career opportunities in Malaysia’s key industries.
Internship+ & certification

  • An employability enhancement programme which equips students with commercially useful skills and experiences.
    • This programme is taken before students undergo internships at host companies.
    • It is currently offered under the Internship High Impact Talent (i-HIT) programme, as well as by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP).

  • ACCA's Global Business Services (GBS) Qualifications: The first suite of qualifications dedicated to finance and accounting staff working in global business services, shared services and outsourcing.
    • Currently offered to 100 final year non-accounting students from UPSI and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
    • 30-hour online course with a 2-day workshop
Curriculum Embedment
  • In September 2015, TalentCorp collaborated with MDEC and UKM on GBS elective courses @ UKM, a pilot programme involving GBS curriculum embedment which aimed to enhance students' soft skills especially in critical thinking and problem-solving within the context of GBS.

  • The Global Business Services (GBS) Challenge: A competition organised by MDEC and TalentCorp which gives young Malaysian talents early exposure to the professional opportunities in GBS, by challenging university students to propose solutions to common issues faced by the industry. 
Boot Camps

  • 3-day, 2-night residential boot camp sessions which prepare graduates for the workforce through a series of workshops covering CV tailoring, grooming etiquette and interview skills. 

  • Graduate Employability Management Scheme (GEMS): Sector-focused and demand driven, GEMS combines classroom training and on-the-job training with employers to equip fresh graduates with industry-relevant skills and experience:
    • The Information Technology Operations (ITO) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) tracks of GEMS comprises pre-internship training for final-year undergraduates and skills training for fresh graduates.

By mapping demand and the skillsets required by employers and matching those to universities in Malaysia, IAC-GBS offers a more targeted approach to improving the industry-readiness of graduates for the sector. The active participation of key partners in industry and academia further strengthens the model. 

“Malaysia is home to the GBS operations of over 400 multinational and Malaysian-owned companies. 70,000 new jobs are expected to be available across the GBS sector within the next four years, and the creation of 6,000 jobs are forecasted for this year alone," said TalentCorp’s chief executive officer, Shareen Shariza Dato’ Abdul Ghani. “Sadly, not many Malaysians are aware the GBS sector is perfectly positioned to offer exciting and international careers right from home. This is why IAC-GBS will be central to raising the profile of GBS as the career of choice.” 

Dato’ Ng Wan Peng, Chief Operating Officer of MDEC said, “MDEC firmly believes that the IAC-GBS initiative will help the industry to address many of the talent-related issues in the long run. The GBS sector is a maturing industry with a lot of potential for growth therefore we hope to shape a positive perception of the industry as one of the highly attractive industries to work for in an effort to expand the talent pool and ecosystem. With the help of all parties involved in creating awareness, we can look forward to an even better ranking in future Global Services Locations Index reports by AT Kearney.”

The SFCF UPSI 2016, meanwhile, is the latest chapter of TalentCorp’s SFCF series consisting of industry-specific career fairs which are a collaborative effort between TalentCorp and local universities. The SFCF series increases career awareness and instils a better understanding of Malaysia’s key economic sectors by enabling graduates to meet corporate leaders and senior human resource representatives of participating companies. At the same time, the SFCF series provides companies the opportunity to scout for potential talents from universities in Malaysia.

Held at UPSI’s Sultan Abdul Jalil Shah campus in Tanjung Malim, the two-day SFCF UPSI 2016 will focus on highlighting internship and employment opportunities in the GBS sector, and will feature activities – such as CEO talks, career talks and speed interview sessions – which will enable participants to directly engage with over 25 leading employers including Aegis BPO, Brandt International, CPA Australia, and Standard Chartered.  

For more information on the IAC-GBS, the SFCF series, and TalentCorp’s other graduate employability initiatives, visit  

GBS as a Career of Choice, MSC Malaysia;

The World Bank-TalentCorp Survey on Graduate Employability, MEM June 2014



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