Outsourcing Malaysia (‘OM’), a chapter of the Computer and Multimedia Association of Malaysia (‘PIKOM’), together with several local universities recently held a graduation ceremony for the latest batch of its Graduate Employability Management Scheme (“GEMS-SSO”) programme, towards meeting the talent needs of Malaysia’s Global Business Services sector (“GBS” and formerly known as ‘Shared Services & Outsourcing Industry, ‘SSO’).
A joint initiative by OM, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad (TalentCorp), the GEMS-SSO is the GBS-focused track under TalentCorp’s GEMS programme aimed at providing industry exposure to final year university students prior to graduation.
The programme was co-funded by TalentCorp together with industry partners from the GBS sector. Since the programme’s inception in 2014, over 250 final year students have been trained and successfully placed as interns and subsequently absorbed by industry.
The latest graduation ceremony sees students from five local universities – University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Multimedia University Malaysia (MMU) and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM).
Validated by industry, delivered by academia and supported by the government, the programme has received tremendous support from local universities who offer the 10-12 days training programme to their final year students. Aside from the earlier mentioned five, also involved in the initiative is University Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).
“The GEMS-SSO programme was conceived in 2014, when the OM Talent Council teamed up with Talent Corp and MDeC to train undergraduates while still in university. It is a win-win solution for all. The universities can offer value-added industry relevant knowledge, while students are able to enhance their skillset and increase their employability rate. At the same time, the GBS industry has a solution to bridge existing talent gaps,” shared OM Chairman, Cheah Kok Hoong.
Under the GEMS-SSO programme, undergraduates undergo 10-12 days of intensive training with specialisation in HR or Finance.
This training is internationally certified and delivered by IAOP qualified trainers. In addition, students are required to sit for the globally recognised Certified Outsourcing Specialist (COS) IAOP certification examination as well as undergo a minimum of ten-weeks to six-months of internship with a GBS company.
Graduates are certified by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (‘IAOP®’) as Certified Outsourcing Specialists. The IAOP® is the leading global outsourcing association with more than 120,000 members and affiliates worldwide. It offers certification programmes that are recognised worldwide by the GBS industry.
“The biggest segment of demand for GBS is in the area of HR and Finance, hence the emphasis on these two skillsets. The onus now is to bring the GEMS-SSO programme to more Malaysian undergraduates nationwide,” added Cheah.
The World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor published in December 2013 reported that one in five degree holders in Malaysia under the age of 25 were unemployed.
In addition, the 2014 Labour Force Survey report by the Department of Statistics released in June 2014 revealed that one-third (31%) of those unemployed in Malaysia had a tertiary education, translating to about 130,000 persons. This is corroborated by Ministry of Education statistics that indicate close to 25% of local graduates were unemployed (51,835 out of 202,328 graduates).
Expressing its support were MMU, UKM and UNIMAS who concurred that such industry collaboration is the way forward towards building local talent and meeting the needs of a growing GBS industry.
“We are pleased to be working with Outsourcing Malaysia and the other industry partners to deliver a truly industry relevant programme that will equip our graduates with the mindset and skillsets to be relevant in the job market. Industry input is always crucial and the GEMS-SSO initiative is truly designed to deliver the best possible talents for the industry,” says Dr. Mariati binti Norhashim, Faculty of Management, MMU.
“New Finance and Accounting (F&A) shared service employment opportunities fail to attract young graduates mainly due to lack of awareness and mismatched skills. So, in addition to creating awareness to the GBS industry, this programme also enhances our graduates’ technical and soft skills for better internship placement and employment in the Industry,” added Dr. Aini Aman Associate Professor, UKM.
“Transforming students in a subtle yet meaningful way, this is one of the key attributes of the GEMS-SSO programme among the many other benefits, it brings for a mutually beneficial collaboration,” shared Dr. Rizal Abu Bakar, Deputy Dean, Career Affairs and Alumni, UNIMAS.