KUALA LUMPUR: Institutions of higher learning should revise their syllabuses to meet changes in the job market, said TalentCorp industry partnership manager Noor Asmaliza Romlee.
She said TalentCorp has a list of 59 critical jobs that were in demand in Malaysia, and to meet their needs for employees in these areas, businesses were turning to foreign workers.
“If universities can adapt their syllabuses to meet the demands of employers it will reduce the need for foreign workers,” she said at a forum on education organised by the British Council yesterday.
She pointed out that the syllabus had always been policy driven but universities should now consider industry needs too to ensure that their graduates were employable.
“You may need to drop some syllabuses and merge others to meet changing needs,” she added.
Noor Asmaliza said soft skills also played an important part because employers looked to them when recruiting graduates.
She said skills such as teamwork, communication, adaptability and presentation play an important part when a person applied for a job.
She said a report by Khazanah on graduates from 2010 to 2017 found that there were 178,000 high skill graduates but only about 98,000 jobs were available.
She attributed this to a myriad of reasons such as graduates only applying for certain types of jobs.
She also pointed out that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) employed about 60% of the workforce but they lacked funds to train people.
Noor Asmaliza said varsities could play an important part to resolve this if they could help provide graduates with the soft and technical skills to meet the needs of SMEs.
She said TalentCorp had set up a consortium with the tourism industry to help universities to train graduates to meet their demands.
She said this was done to help address the mismatch between industry and academia as tourism was a huge economic contributor.