Experts say job seekers still finding the English language a hurdle

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 22 May 2013

PETALING JAYA: The poor command of English among job seekers remains among the top complaints of employers, say recruitment specialists.

MyStarJob Network Sdn Bhd head Serm Teck Choon said this was a major problem especially among fresh graduates.

“Most job seekers can speak and write in English, but their command of English is very basic and not up to the expectations of the employers,” he said when commenting on the column by The Star executive director and group chief editor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai on bringing back English-medium schools.

In his column last Sunday, Wong said that the Government should allow the use of English as a medium of instruction in schools again.

Wong added that if there are Chinese and Tamil primary schools alongside national schools, there is no reason for Malaysians not to have other options.

Serm said bringing back the option of English-medium schools could increase the competitiveness of the Malaysian workforce.

“In jobs such as sales, marketing and customer service, especially, it is important to be able to communicate well. We cannot deny the importance of English, especially in the business world,” he said yesterday.

Recruitment company Malaysia country manager Chook Yuh Yng said that employers had consistently cited poor English as among the top three problems they faced with Malaysian fresh graduates.

“It has remained among the top three complaints in the national surveys we conduct every two years since 2005,” she said.

Chook added that it was crucial to improve the level of English proficiency as it was used as the official medium of communication in 91% of the companies in the private sector.

It was also important, she said, to build confidence among these job seekers and for them to be able to compete internationally.

“I would definitely support the call to bring back English-medium schools as I personally feel that the level of English among job seekers has declined now compared to about 10 years ago,” she said.

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