Defining the goals of being Employable

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Employability is defined as ability of obtaining and maintaining fulfilling work through the development of skills that are transferable from one employer to another. It also known as getting and fulfilling the work comprehensively, capability to move self-sufficiently within the labor market to realize potential through sustainable employment depending on the knowledge, skills and attitudes they possess, the way they use those assets and present them to employers and the context within which they seek in work (Hillage and Pollard, 1998).

External environment plays an important part in altering shape of employability as it will eventually influence employability to an extent that the whole country or company will suffer retrenchment and such. There are a few external environments, particularly political, economic, social, technology and legal part. These external environments will change accordingly and will influence employment rate. For example, if there are any political changes, it will influence the government policy and eventually alter the employment rate. Economic changes will play the most important role as employment and retrenchment are basically related to the economy performance. Social and technology changes will influence employment rate from time to time meanwhile legal changes will have an impact on the legal policy and at such, forcing companies to either employ more employee or retrench workers. Besides, competition between organizations too will serve as an important influence as it will create jobs instability and influencing employment rates. In addition, labor market information is essential in showing earnings, news, research and information in public and private sector by monitoring changes of level in employment where this is significant to successful organizations.

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Political

How political changes will influence employability in Malaysia? Political changes, such as changes in government policy, economy policy, new development plan, particularly Vision 2020 and New Economic Policy (NEP) will influence employment rate. This is where when a development plan is being announced and carried out by the government, it will creates more jobs in all sectors and eventually boost the employment rate. In 1991, former Malaysian Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir introduced Vision 2020, which is a development plan to transform Malaysia from an agriculture-based country to a developed country like Singapore. Vision 2020 was announced together with several Malaysia Plans, such as the Eighth Malaysia Plan and Nine Malaysia Plan on the consecutive years. These plans are developed in order to shape Malaysia as a developed country by 2020. Besides that, National Development Policies (NDP) which were introduced after NEC were also part of longer- term program of Vision 2020 which aims to turn Malaysia into full industrialized country (Drabble, 2010). Therefore, a lot of jobs are created to boost the economy and more and more youngsters will immigrate into the city in order to look for jobs. As a result, employment rate will grow rapidly.

Economic

Economic changes play an important role in influencing employment rate. If there is a consistent growth on the economy, for example, 6%-7% growth per year; employment rate will grow as the companies grow, more workers are needed. However, financial crisis or economic downturn will subsequently cause retrenchment as the economy and companies are not performing well, retrenchment is one of the best ways to save their operating costs. Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 and 2008 Financial Crisis have been causing Malaysia's economy to sub size. According to Khor (2009), there has been a fall in exports in manufacturing, oil and agricultural products. The falls have been surprisingly steep, showing that the Malaysian economy started stalling and then falling in the last three or four months of 2008. All the sectors have been hit, in terms of deceleration of growth between the third and fourth quarter of last year.  The real GDP in manufacturing fell 12% from RM40.3 billion to RM35.3 billion, while agriculture fell from RM10.8 billion to RM9.9 billion and construction from RM4 billion to RM3.9 bil. The fall in GDP is due to the fall in productivity of the companies. As productivity falls, retrenchment occurs as employers available are more than jobs available. According to Goh & Lim (2009), the impact of the crisis on unemployment in Malaysia is not quite as alarming as compared to that of the other countries due to the stimulus plan being implemented by the government. However, the unemployment rate increased by 0.9% to 4.0% in the first quarter of 2009 as compared to 3.1% in the fourth quarter of 2008 (Refer to Figure 1). About 40,000 workers retrenched during this crisis, with 60% of the retrenchment coming from the manufacturing sector. Thus, this shown that the recent financial crisis has caused Malaysia to suffer from heavy retrenchment and drastic drop in job vacancies and these proof employment rates depends on the economic performance.

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Social

Social or lifestyle changes are an important value in changing job trends. As social trend changes, job trend changes as graduates nowadays have different perspective on jobs. They will not simply pick on a job as they will examine which job is suitable and suits them. Thus, this will create some unemployment in some unpopular sector. Besides, gender cap has been narrowed as more and more women are now working in different sectors in the industry. According to Ng (2004), industrialization in Malaysia has been in the dominion of women. The labor force participation rate of women increased from 37% in 1970 to 43.5% in 1995 and 44.5% in 2000. Today, about 85% of women workers are in the manufacturing and services sector, with the majority located in urban areas. Also, women's share in the direct high-skilled jobs increased from 42 per cent in 1985 to 45 per cent in 1990, reflecting healthy inroads made by women in this professional category (Ng & Sim, 1995). This shown that women have been accepted into the society and their contribution is inevitable. Also, according to Carmel (2007), older employee must continue to work as it is beneficial for everyone else and themselves, too. If elderly employee continues to work, it will benefit the economy as well as social protection system. Thus, the government has been implementing several measures to provide welfare for elderly and policies to further their retirement datelines. Also, providing jobs to the disabled is an important part too as they have the ability to contribute to the society and country.

Technology

Technology is something that we cannot repel and now it exists in every part of our everyday life. Technology advancement in the 21st century has been accelerating the growth of every sector and thus increases the employment opportunities. Technology improvements have been affecting unskilled and semi-skilled workers whereby there was a rapid increase in employment associated with the new technologies. According to Ng and Sim (1995), the number of system analyst grew nearly fifteen-fold, from 172 to 2526 while computer programmers increased thirteen-fold, from 335 to 4353, and automatic data processing and machine operators increased ten-fold, from 1038 to 10709 (Refer to Table 1). Hence, these created more demand for skilled workers rather than unskilled and semi-skilled workers and at the same time decrease their dependency for them. According to Sanders (2004), low-skilled workers are more likely to expect a change within their jobs as they need training to upgrade themselves to catch up with the technologies. Firms or companies will likely to hire skilled workers thus forcing semi-skilled and unskilled workers to look for labor intensive job or to upgrade themselves through training or education. Subsequently, skilled workers will increase in the market and semi-skilled and unskilled workers will decrease.

Legal

Any legal changes in Malaysia are controlled or issued under the government. All local employees in Malaysia are protected under the Employment Act 1995, which provide protection and uphold the employees' rights. For examples, any employees which happen to suffer any injuries during work will be protected by their rights in which their employer will need to pay for their medical fee. Working women, in particular were given more rights to protect themselves nowadays, such as from sex discrimination. They also were given maternity leave and sexual harassment protection in works. According to (Swinton, 2001), women who experienced sex discrimination at work will have an increased chance of obtaining more compensation when the new legislation comes into effect. In the future, women will not be less likely to be the victims of discrimination whereby they being missed out on a promotion or received less pay than male colleagues. As a result, women participation in various sectors increased.

Conclusion

From the information above, we can observe that external environments have been influencing and shaping our country employment pattern. As the economy grows, employment will rise as well as when the government announced latest budget or new development plan. Employment rate will also changes due to the lifestyle of the graduate and job seekers. Despite the advantages of technology that will improve the productivity of a firm significantly, it will eventually affect unskilled and semi-skilled workers as their skills are no longer needed. They will either being retrenched or being paid a very low wages. However, legal protection against the employee has provide job seekers from different gender and races and age a brighter future as they are given more protection. Thus, this will lead to a grow in their participation.

Task 2

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According to the Human Resource Ministry of Malaysia, 2004, many graduates are good only in theory and many fresh graduates were unable to meet the expectations of the corporate sector. This is not a new issue as it has been voiced out by many individuals, particularly employers and private sectors. Most of their concerns are that fresh graduates unable to meet their criteria, such as being able to speak fluent English, to have soft skills, such as team-working, innovativeness and critical or lateral thinking. They are also need to have some leadership and communication skills. To some, first and last impressions too are crucial in determining their placement in works. Most of the unemployed fresh graduates are lacking of these skills, particularly inability to speak in English fluently. According to the Krishnamoorthy (2007), thousand of teachers in Malaysia will be tested by the Ministry of Education as many parents have voiced out their concerns over the quality of teaching in the media. Their children have said to be unable to follow the lessons properly as the teachers were less than proficient in English. Employers nowadays are looking for fresh graduates with English proficiency and able to communication well. According to most of the private enterprises, they will be likely to hire fresh graduates who are able to communicate well rather than those who excel in exam.

Most of the employers are looking for fresh graduates equipped with language efficiency, soft skills and technical skills. Graduates nowadays are lacking of the crucial skills needed by most employers, such as team-working, leadership and communication skills, as well as verbal and numerical reasoning (Adult Learning, 2007). According to Hartini (2007), more than 65% of female graduates in Malaysia are unemployed because of their low social and communication skills, as well as poor command of English language and low level of confident. Although they had excelled well in their academic result but they were unable to secure employment in the labor market without any soft skills.

Thus, companies need to open up and provide platforms for graduates to develop soft skills through internships (The Star, 2010). Internships will provide them with some experience and skills when they are working. This will in turn open their eyes and give them a glimpse of how the working world is doing. It is important to build and practice these skills in the higher institutions before coming out to work by participating actively in co-curricular activities.

Employers needed their employees to be able to communicate in English well as English is the lingua franca nowadays; every conversation between clients is in English and all the paper works are in English. Without a deep understanding of English Language, most of the graduates would have failed the interview.

Besides, soft skill such as team working is needed as well. Team-working is important to build a company. With an efficiency team, the organization or firm will be able to strive well. With cooperation between each member in the team, one will be able to help each other and make things works. According to Farrington (2008), the principle of working together with the team should underpin how one operates. All members in the team should involve in the process and must be clear of their goals and how to achieve it; they must cooperate with each other and make it clear one contribution is as important as the others. With team working, goal can be achieved faster and firm will grow in a stable and productive way. According to Sugarman (2004), a productive team shares a common goal, a common vision and has some level of interdependence that requires both verbal and physical interaction. They may come together for a number of different reasons, but their goals are the same - to achieve peak performance and experience success. The ends may differ but the means by which one gets there is the same - teamwork. Every member of the team is accountable when it comes to teamwork. For examples, every marketing department of a firm has their own team in order to sell their products or services and to get clients. They will work together and will have the characteristics above in order to strive for the company.

Every fresh graduate should be innovative and creative when applying for job or while working. They should have an innovative thinking and their minds should be thinking of all possible outcomes for everything. According to Harrison, Jaumandreu & Mairesse (2008), innovations process will influence the additional incremental improvements in efficiency, attributable to factors such learning and spillovers, which in turn will reduce input requirements over time. Therefore, productivity will increase and causing a reduction in unit costs. This cost reduction will result in a lower price, which will stimulate demand, output and employment in the end. Moreover, having an innovative thinking will help fresh graduates secure job in the industry. Most of the interviewers will ask questions that require creative and innovative thinking. Without these, they are most likely to be unable to perform well. For examples, one of the largest tobacco companies, Phillips Morrison, conduct several test and interview based on their thinking and skills before employing them. Fresh graduates need to pass a series of test that need their critical and creative thinking, as well as language efficiency and leadership skills.

Talking about critical and lateral thinking; fresh graduate should have critical and lateral thinking as it will help to be able to make decision precisely and act independently. They must be able to analyze every aspect of a particular issue and think of the consequences of every move. With lateral thinking, they will be able to solve problems other than using conventional logic. For example, in the banking sectors, you will need critical thinking in order to solve the clients' needs. A particular client may want to borrow money from the bank, thus you need your critical thinking to analyze every aspects of his financial situation. According to Woods (2010), Navjot Singh, the global marketing manager, recruitment and global communications manager at Shell uses lateral thinking in recruiting new staff. He scaled away from the traditional marketing plan and applying his new marketing techniques which is by reassessing its recruitment plan, asking applicants to give their own feedback on the recruitment process. He found out the highest number of potential engineering recruits travelled via Aberdeen Airport so he focused advertising there and the prospective flights they would take. As a result, the company has seen an 80% cut in recruitment costs and a 20% reduction in the time to hire new staff. With lateral and critical thinking, the organization will likely to hire this particular fresh graduate.

Lastly, all employers in the market are always hunting for fresh graduates with soft skills, language proficiency and critical and lateral thinking. For examples, according to Pauline Ho, a partner of Pricewaterhousecoopers (PwC), one of the largest accounting firms in the world, the organization is always on the hunt for fresh graduates that posses soft skills, active while in their university and could manage their projects well during their university life. Besides, they also look for fresh graduate with leadership skills and team work. According to Jain (2005), jobseekers must identify the skills for the kind of jobs that they are searching for and master those skills; include soft skills and language proficiency.

Fresh graduates should work on their communication skills, work ethic, teamwork skills, initiative and interpersonal skills. To brush up their skills, one could attend small courses that prepare the fresh graduates on interview and presentation skills.

To conclude, experts suggest that graduates should not take a vacation after college if they want to get a good job after they graduate. One should always on the search for good job and brush up their skills; some may obtain jobs through college placements and some may through their seniors or networking. If these failed, they should not lose hope and must continue on their search. One of the main reasons the unemployment was so high is that fresh graduates tend to give up after being rejected. Patience and effort in the right direction are important in securing a place in any job; Improve all the soft skills and language proficiency and with patient, you will land a good job in the future.

References [Task 1]

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