THE Protege programme, under the Economic Planning Unit, has given fresh graduates looking for jobs amid a global pandemic a ray of hope.
Previously known as the Program Skim Latihan 1Malaysia (SL1M), the Protege programme is supported by Sime Darby Plantations.
It is a human capital initiative the government-linked company will continue to support and invest in, group managing director Mohamad Helmy Othman Basha (pic) said.
“The programme has given us the opportunity to help budding graduates. We provide a platform for training, both in the classroom and on the job.
“The exposure will benefit them in the long run. We have been fortunate to witness how this programme has given them the ability to make a tangible impact on, and contribution to, our company.
“We believe such valuable experiences will equip them with confidence to take on various challenges as they begin to chart their careers, ” he said in a press release.
In 2017, Sime Darby Plantations welcomed 457 graduates and has had 23 Proteges absorbed for full-time employment over the last three years, he added.
Through the programme, Azreen Awalludin, 25, gained insightful exposure to the working world.
This pushed her to improve her communication skills, as she had to communicate professionally with various parties.
“This programme also helped me improve my presentation skills and it acted as a platform for me to discover my talents and showcase my potential, ” said the electrical power engineering graduate from Universiti Tenaga Nasional.
Vityasri Jeyapalan, 25, said the programme is a good stepping stone for fresh graduates or young working adults to build their careers.
“It provided both intensive soft skills classroom training and on-the-job training opportunities, offering practical skills and real-life experiences to build a strong foundation, ” added the business administration graduate from Universiti Utara Malaysia who minored in bank management.
Describing the programme as an “excellent” training platform that encourages fresh graduates to be more competent and well-trained, Nur Shahira Madon, a 24-year-old technology and plantation management graduate from Universiti Teknologi Mara, said the opportunity provided her with an avenue to gain real-life experiences in the plantation environment.
Azreen, Vityasri and Nur Shahira have all been absorbed as full-time employees at Sime Darby Plantations.
Separately, in their bid to continually empower students, Yayasan Sime Darby held its fifth Sime Darby Young Innovators Challenge (SDYIC).
Fifteen finalist teams, comprising 1,581 students from 406 schools nationwide, have been chosen to compete at the national level.
Themed “Help A Person, Change the World”, the programme highlights innovative ideas in solving real-life problems for the community, Yayasan Sime Darby said in a press release.
The teams, which also qualified for a month of training and exposure in the SDYIC 2020 National Camp, were evaluated based on the scalability, targeted impact to the community, regulatory compliance and implementation of their prototypes.
Through guided sessions, the programme lets students hone fundamental innovation skills and develop good pitches to effectively communicate their ideas.
Upon completing the camp, the finalist teams will present a pitch on the potential impact and outcome of their projects during the SDYIC 2020 Grand Finale to be held this month.
At least three winning teams will be chosen to receive grants worth RM60,000. They also stand a chance to further refine their prototypes by working with targeted communities before implementing their inventions to solve the communities’ issues and challenges.
Describing this year’s SDYIC a “first-of-its-kind”, Yayasan Sime Darby said SDYIC 2020 had a more “extensive experience” through exclusive online sharing sessions with over 30 industry professionals, including Sime Darby employees and innovation officers.
“Besides that, SDYIC participants are equipped with online self-learning materials and the opportunity to attend virtual feedback sessions with innovation mentors and former SDYIC winning teams.”
Yayasan Sime Darby chief executive officer Dr Yatela Zainal Abidin said the SDYIC aims to provide youths with exposure to practical innovation skills and discover innovative, creative and actionable solutions by honing their design thinking, innovation, leadership, and entrepreneurial skills.