Youth unemployment has been on the rise in the last few years, making it a much talked about issue on the future generation of Malaysians. While the national unemployment rate for 2018 stood at 3.3%, the unemployment rate among youths tripled at 10.9%1. In a report by the Bank Negara Malaysia, the number of Diploma and Degree graduates churning out from tertiary education institution from 2010 to 2017 well surpassed the high-skilled jobs created in the same period of time. The report indicates the excess of workforce supply by 1.76 times to the industry demand. “We may predict that youth unemployment remains higher than the average national unemployment rate despite the implementation of #GraduanKerja announced in the recent Budget 2020. Perhaps, it is clear that job creation for the younger generation is essential and needs to be in tandem with economic growth and business sustainability in most major industries,” said Associate Professor Dr. Brian Wong, the Head of UOW Malaysia KDU School of Business.
To better prepare the next generation of students before entering the challenging employment scene, UOW Malaysia KDU through its Student and Alumni Centre and School of Business have spearheaded a unique program called Job Shadowing since 2018. It is a two-session program specially designed to provide undergraduate students the experience of entrepreneurship and gaining exposure by immersing themselves into the real business world. UOW Malaysia KDU School of Business integrates the Job Shadowing program into selected modules where students can explore and understand the real working environment, discovering their own potential when dealing with employers, and essentially creates an opportunity for students to connect with an employer or entrepreneur before graduation, vastly enhancing their employment potentials.
“There is always a way towards success, which is why the Student and Alumni Centre is here to support the holistic development of our students here on campus. We believe in nurturing the youth nowadays with a more hands-on experience, hence the Job Shadowing program is introduced. By encouraging involvement in soft skills development, this will definitely help the students to strive successfully in the future.” said Mitchell Liong, Senior Manager of UOW Malaysia KDU Student & Alumni Centre.
The companies who partnered with UOW Malaysia KDU in this program are from different industries, including Food and Beverages, Fashion, Technology, Automotive Services, Consultancy, E-Commerce, Human Resources, Travel, and many more. The diversification of the company options allow students to choose the industry they would like to experience while pursuing the academic module simultaneously. This way, students will be able to learn practically, translating the theories learnt in class into real world experience. While the program benefits students, it is also provides value-added experience and knowledge to the corporate partners.
A technology and automotive company shared:
“I am thankful that my company is involved in this Job Shadowing program. Connecting with students is good as we don’t always visit the campus. For students, I think this is a good opportunity to widen their view and work harder before they officially graduate and join the workforce”.
An F&B and E-commerce company indicated:
“I really like this as I get excellent input from the students. Even though the sessions are short, I am hoping for more sessions to be conducted. Continue with the good effort!”
Throughout the program, students will have to brainstorm ideas and share within the stipulated time given to them. By having these types of activities, this will help students to think creatively and critically, hence enhancing their skills. As an outcome, students are more independent at the end of the program and more open to new challenges as they have gained practical skills in organising, planning, influencing and executing a task given by the corporate partners. Apart from that, they have also gained soft skills such as Communication skills, Critical Thinking and gained confidence in public speaking.
With academic results improving tremendously, this unique and tailor-made Job Shadowing program at UOW Malaysia KDU has proven to be effective, particularly in developing a more industry-ready mindset. Students were able to reflect their experiences when answering exam questions. The programme will be continuously implemented as UOW Malaysia KDU believes it’s the right way forward to develop industry-savvy students, curbing the youth unemployment issue among its students.
Happenings at UOW Malaysia KDU
UOW Malaysia KDU University College
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