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Leading Employers Come Together To Address Employability Issues In The Malaysian Workplace

(Kuala Lumpur) – A rising number of young adults in Malaysia lack the skills that employers need, reflecting a worrying disconnect that is leading to unemployability issues in the country.

In a series of roundtables in Kuala Lumpur, leaders of multinational corporations, shared service centres and government-linked companies expressed a wide range of concerns about the capabilities of young workers. The roundtables were organised by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) in partnership with Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad (TalentCorp), and supported by Multimedia Development Corporation (MDec)

CIMA and TalentCorp released the findings today in a new report, Ready for business: Bridging the Employability Gap. The Malaysian perspective. Among its conclusions:

• Most graduates need considerable development in leadership, influencing, people-management, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

• There need to be mutual understanding and collaboration between academia and industry in producing graduates and talent that are not merely employable, but also retainable, to grow in tandem with the long-term success of companies.

• Employers can contribute their real-world expertise on what they expect and need, at opportunities where an educational institution’s syllabus can be developed, modified or refined, to reflect the rapidly evolving business landscape.

The findings reflect a growing global trend, with employers around the world struggling to find qualified workers – even among those with significant academic credentials. In Malaysia, for instance, nearly a third of those unemployed last year had a tertiary education, according to the Labour Force Survey Report Malaysia (2013) that was released in June 2014. The highest percentage share of unemployed people in Malaysia was youth in the age group of 20–24 years old.

Charles Tilley, Chief Executive, CIMA commented, “Kuala Lumpur’s business leaders confirm a global sentiment – employability is an issue keeping company directors awake at night. CIMA is urgently working with businesses and policy makers globally to provide companies with effective solutions. Our certification is a key route to achieving the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation – enabling professionals to become powerful decision-makers.”

To help bridge the employability gap, CIMA and TalentCorp have initiated a new CIMA-TalentCorp Employability Programme targeted at Year 1 university students to develop additional skills desired by employers and enhance the students’ employability when they graduate.

Johan Mahmood Merican, Chief Executive Officer, TalentCorp, said, “To realise Malaysia’s goal of becoming a high income economy by 2020, the talent needs of leading employers need to be addressed. I believe the CIMA-TalentCorp Employability Programme is an excellent example of academia and industry coming together to develop solutions that contribute to building a national industry-ready talent pipeline capable of driving Malaysia’s ambitious transformation agenda.”

CIMA regularly works in tandem with businesses across the world, conducting comprehensive research into the role of management accountants, the skills employers expect of them, and how these are changing. This has allowed us to develop our 2015 CIMA syllabus and assessment process to address the skills that employers will need.

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