(Seated from left) GBS Division MDEC Strategy & Planning head Nik Izudin Nik Mohd Yusof, Pikom chairman Chin Chee Seong, Cheah, M. Pattabhiraman-OM Talent Council Chair, Prof Aini and Outsourcing Malaysia director Justin J Anthony together with some graduates.
OUTSOURCING Malaysia (OM), a chapter of the Computer and Multimedia Association of Malaysia (Pikom), together with several local universities, held a graduation ceremony for the latest batch of the Graduate Employability Management Scheme (Gems-SSO) programme, aimed at meeting the talent needs of Malaysia’s global business services (GBS) sector.
A joint initiative by OM, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDeC) and Talent Corporation Malaysia Bhd (TalentCorp), the Gems-SSO provides industry exposure to final year university students prior to graduation. The programme is co-funded by TalentCorp together with industry partners from the GBS sector.
Since its inception in 2014, the programme has seen over 250 final year students being trained, successfully placed as interns and subsequently absorbed by the industry.
The latest graduation ceremony sees students from five local universities – Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), Multimedia University (MMU) and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM). Also involved in the initiative is Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).
“The GemS-SSO programme was conceived when in 2014, the OM Talent Council teamed up with Talent Corp and MDeC to train undergraduates while still in university,” said OM chairman Cheah Kok Hoong.
“It is a win-win solution for all. The universities can offer value-added industry-relevant knowledge while students are able to enhance their skillsets and increase their employability rate. At the same time, the GBS industry has a solution to bridge existing talent gaps,” he added.
Under the GEMS-SSO programme, undergraduates undergo 10 to 12 days of intensive training with specialisation in human resource (HR) or finance. This training is internationally certified and delivered by IAOP qualified trainers.
In addition, students are required to sit for the globally recognised Certified Outsourcing Specialist (COS) IAOP certification examination as well as undergo a minimum of 10-weeks to six-months of internship with a GBS company.
Graduates are certified by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) as Certified Outsourcing Specialists. The IAOP is the leading global outsourcing association with more than 120,000 members and affiliates worldwide. It offers certification programmes that are recognised worldwide.
“The biggest segment of demand for GBS is in the area of HR and Finance, hence the emphasis on these two skillsets. The onus now is to bring the GEMS-SSO programme to more Malaysian undergraduates nationwide,” stressed Cheah.
The World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor published in December 2013 reported that one in five degree holders in Malaysia under the age of 25 were unemployed. In addition, the 2014 Labour Force Survey report by the Department of Statistics released in June 2014 revealed that one third (31%) of those unemployed in Malaysia had a tertiary education, translating to about 130,000 persons.
This is corroborated by the Education Ministry statistics that show close to 25% of local graduates were unemployed (51,835 out of 202,328 graduates).
Expressing its support were MMU, UKM and Unimas who concurred that such industry collaboration was the way forward towards building local talent and meeting the needs of a growing GBS industry.
“We are pleased to be working with OM and the other industry partners to deliver a truly industry relevant programme that will equip our graduates with the mindset and skillsets to be relevant in the job market. Industry input is always crucial and the GEMS-SSO initiative is truly designed to deliver the best possible talents for the industry,” said Dr Mariati Norhashim of MMU’s Management Faculty.
“New Finance and Accounting shared service employment opportunities fail to attract young graduates mainly due to lack of awareness and mismatched skills,” added UKM associate professor Dr Aini Aman.
“So, in addition to creating awareness of the GBS industry, this programme also enhances our graduates’ technical and soft skills for better internship placement and employment in the industry.”
“Transforming students in a subtle yet meaningful way, this is one of the key attributes of the GEMS-SSO programme among the many other benefits it brings for a mutually beneficial collaboration,” said Unimas deputy dean of Career Affairs and Alumni Dr Rizal Abu Bakar.