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Consider business fields to avoid unemployment, graduates advised

25th September, 2019


KOTA KINABALU: Graduates must not limit themselves to just seeking jobs but also consider creating new opportunities by starting their own business to avoid the fate of long-term unemployment.

“Job seekers need to keep an open mind on building their future careers, the field of entrepreneurship offers bright prospects with the potential of generating stronger returns on investment than getting employed in the public and private sectors,” said Deputy Minister of Human Resources Dato’ Mahfuz Omar.

To avoid getting mired in the trap of unemployment, he highlighted graduates need to look beyond the scope of employment, and adopt a more creative and innovative approach to develop their future careers.

Calling for a change in mindset on identifying future career paths, Mahfuz said graduates starting their own business not only help them to be self-employed but also create new jobs, opportunities and drive economic growth.

“Adopting a broader view and being innovative is key to consider other possible career options to prevent long term unemployment,” he said when met by reporters after officiating the state-level Sabah Labour Convention (Konpens) 2019, at Universiti Teknologi Mara Sabah campus here, yesterday.

The rate of unemployment in Sabah remains high acknowledged the Director of the State Labour Department Kamal Pardi who said effects is primarily felt in the plantation sector as well as economic activities related to agriculture.

“There are also locals working in the plantation sector apart from foreign workers, and the government has been collaborating with plantation owners to introduce automation to attract more locals to work in this sector,” he said.

Kamal noted the department has successfully matched 12,000 job seekers in Sabah to secure employment at various industry sectors this year through 22 job carnivals organised throughout the state.

Additionally, Mahfuz said he was aware the state government is looking to generate better job opportunities through efforts to attract high tech industries to set up their operations in Sabah.

“This is a positive step because the entry of high tech industries creates quality, better-paying careers, and generates demand for skilled expertise,” he said, adding qualified workers can be sourced from vocational training and polytechnic installations as well as higher education institutions.

Earlier in his speech, Mahfuz underlined the need for the national education system to move in line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0) in adapting to the demands of future workplaces as well as new jobs generated from the advances of technology.

Based on the current trends, it is forecasted that IR4.0 will require comprehensive changes on main aspects of the education system which encompasses content, delivery, pedagogue and the structure of education administration.

“It also demands changes in content not only in technical education but also overall, with new emphasis on certain skills as well as the need to add new content. With this, a new programme for education needs to be developed to fulfill changing demand of IR4.0 era,” he said.

In this new era, jobs that require innovation and creativity are more likely to remain intact. Regardless of disciplines and fields of expertise, education 4.0 must be able to produce graduates that possess creativity as well as the critical thinking ability,” said Mahfuz.

The event saw 600 students from various private and public higher education institutions as well as skills training facilities in Sabah attending the convention which was also attended by UiTM Rektor (UiTM) Sabah Professor Datuk Dr Abdul Kadir Rosline.

During the one-day programme jointly organised by JTK Sabah with the collaboration of UiTM Sabah, the convention is aimed at providing relevant information and clearer perspective on the national labour situation as well as giving opportunities for students to acquire career advice.

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