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Brimming with potential: PKT Logistics Group’s The Ship Campus is located inside BKIP, Penang.

ONE of the biggest challenges that Malaysia has been grappling with over the past year is the spike in unemployment rates, a situation that was made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the first quarter of 2021 behind us, however, businesses are now going full steam ahead to regain lost ground and drive growth as the economy increasingly opens up, especially in sectors such as logistics and e-commerce.

And to do so, many companies are actively seeking fresh talent to bolster their numbers to ensure sufficient capacity to enable them to get a headstart on tapping into emerging opportunities - despite the still-challenging market conditions.

Among the most proactive companies undertaking such employment drives is PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd’s The Ship Campus and Peninsula College, which jointly organised the recent Batu Kawan Virtual Career Fair 2021.

Addressing current challenges: (from left, clockwise) The second day of the event continued with a panel discussion between Sim, Tio, Chu and Ng on the current challenges plaguing industries and how best to overcome them.Addressing current challenges: (from left, clockwise) The second day of the event continued with a panel discussion between Sim, Tio, Chu and Ng on the current challenges plaguing industries and how best to overcome them.

Peninsula College is the logistic player’s education arm, while The Ship Campus is an education and lifestyle hub located within the 70-acre commercial development One Auto Hub at Batu Kawan Industrial Park (BKIP), which also acts as the industry-driven higher education provider’s headquarters.

Meanwhile, BKIP is an up-and-coming industrial park in Penang that has enticed leading multinational companies and local conglomerates - from industries such as electrical and electronics, machinery and equipment, medical technology, property development and logistics providers - to set up their operations there.

It is in close proximity to the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge and the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas.

Boosting employment

Held over March 6 and 7 last month, the career fair was initially conceptualised from PKT Logistics Group’s own recruiting needs and successfully drew over 800 resumes to fill over 400 job positions advertised by 19 participating companies.

This included The Ship Campus, Peninsula College, PKT Logistics Group, Jabil, ViTrox Corporation, Paramit Malaysia, Penang Automation Cluster, Ultra Clean Technology, Hotayi Electronic, Nolato Malaysia, UWC, Advanced Energy Industries, Ibiden Electronics Malaysia, Osaka Rashi Hambai, Ikea, HP Malaysia and Towam.

ViTrox Corporation, for instance, is looking to hire 300 talents this year alone, consisting of engineers, technicians, executives and interns.

Moreover, the inaugural virtual job fair also saw high engagement from over 5,000 netizens on its Facebook page, which updated posts on job opportunities to encourage more job seekers across the country to apply for openings online.

The Batu Kawan Virtual Career Fair builds on PKT Logistics Group’s experience in organising job fairs, with previous Career Days held in 2012,2013 and 2014 at its headquarters in Shah Alam well received by both the participating companies and job seekers alike.

Bridging the divide: The Ship Campus’ campus-in-industry concept encourages close collaboration among students and industry partners, helping bridge the gap between industry and academia.Bridging the divide: The Ship Campus’ campus-in-industry concept encourages close collaboration among students and industry partners, helping bridge the gap between industry and academia.

Aimed at driving graduate employment among the major industry players of BKIP, Penang, the fair also sought to create more visible employment opportunities for Malaysians who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

The motivation behind the fair, said PKT Logistics Group chief executive and managing director Datuk Michael Tio, was to encourage traffic and buzz to BKIP.

“I believe many of us are ready to grow our business and move beyond recovery mode following the Covid-19 pandemic. Businesses need to continue. We simply cannot wait until the virus no longer exists before continuing with our lives, ” he pointed out.

He added, “For businesses to grow and recover, there is a need to fill jobs with the right talent. We are confident of attracting a pool of skilled local talents to work in Batu Kawan and further developing Penang as an economic hub.”

Beyond hiring

During his opening speech, Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Prof Dr P Ramasamy Palanisamy expressed confidence that the new investments in BKIP will play a role in enriching Penang’s electrical and electronics industry, as well as generate a positive economic spillover effect in job creation.

While he urged Malaysians to take on the opportunity for a career change through the Batu Kawan Virtual Career Fair, he stressed that it is also important for them to upskill to future-proof themselves against any unprecedented future calamity to come.

The fair achieved that by not only conducting fully-online job interviews, but also featuring a mix of talks, presentations and panel discussions with representatives from the Penang state government and industry players, who shared their knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics ranging from industry-academia collaboration to challenges arising from unemployment.

One enlightening session was the panel discussion focusing on unemployment and hiring challenges in Penang. During the panel, Tio, Bukit Mertajam Member of Parliament Steven Sim, ViTrox Corporation president and chief executive officer (CEO) Chu Jenn Weng, as well as UWC deputy CEO Matin Ng Chin Liang addressed the current challenges plaguing industries and shared insights on overcoming them.

These capacity building initiatives are part of PKT Logistics Group and Peninsula College’s focus on producing employment-ready graduates.

Moreover, it also aims to help upskill those seeking to further their education in specialised disciplines such as logistics and business administration, or develop new skills by taking professional certificates such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants qualification.

Founded on the premise that situating colleges within industrial areas can help bridge the gap between industry and academia, the campus-in-industry concept encourages close collaboration among students and industry partners through part-time employment.

By doing so, it helps bridge the gap between industry and academia, as well as enable the application of theory into practice with students working part-time to gain real industry experience and some pocket money while studying. Even after the career fair, PKT Logistics Group remains actively involved in creating career opportunities in logistics, especially with BKIP’s rapidly developing potential and the significant growth strides that the logistics industry has experienced in recent years.

Join the PKT Talent Hunter Group today by scanning this QR code. Browse and apply for the latest vacancies offered by PKT Logistics Group across its facilities in Shah Alam, Klang and Batu Kawan.

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