Photo - (Front, from left) David Wong, the Chairman of Outsourcing Malaysia (OM), exchanges MOU with Michael Warren, Vice President, Shared Services & Outsourcing Cluster, MDeC. Witnessed by (from left) Pattabhiraman, Chair of OM Talent Council; Prof. Dr. Nor Ghani Md. Nor, Dean, Fakulti Ekonomi dan Pengurusan, UKM; Cheah Kok Hoong, Chairman of PIKOM; Siti Nurliza Mohd Sahar, Head of Graduate Employability, TalentCorp; Imran Kunalan - Director, Talent Division, MDeC.
Three government-related bodies - Outsourcing Malaysia, Multimedia Development Corporation [MDeC] and Talent Corporation Malaysia [TalentCorp] - have formed a pact with local universities to enhance the skill level of fresh graduates for Malaysia's shared services and outsourcing [SSO] industry.
Under the agreement signed in Kuala Lumpur on 25 November 2014, OM will work with the initiative's lead agency MDeC and TalentCorp. OM will leading the training of university graduates through the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) Certified Outsourcing Specialists programme and internship, which is set to boost the employability of these graduates in the SSO industry.
David Wong, the chairman of OM, said the programme is also prompted by Malaysia's Ministry of Education 2012 Graduate Tracer Study that reported about a quarter (25 percent) of local graduates were unemployed (51,835 out of 202,328 graduates).
"Yet at the same time, the fast growing SSO industry is facing constant challenges in employing suitable graduates - this is a problem that is also faced by many companies across industries in Malaysia," said Wong. "We also realise that there is mismatch of the required skills, with the academic-prepared-ness and competency of the graduates who apply for the job. They lack many of the necessary communication skills, creative and analytical problem solving capabilities."
OM set up a Talent Council earlier this year, formed with SSO companies such as UOB Centre of Excellence, Kelly OCG, Air Asia Shared Services, Aegis, iTAC MSC Outsourcing and HSBC.
"Today, the OM Talent Council has teamed up with TalentCorp and MDeC to create a SSO industry-focused Graduate Employability programme with the objective to start training undergraduates who are currently still studying at their respective universities," he said.
Wong said the new programme will see students in the next 12 months taking up 10 days of intensive training, which is internationally certified and will be carried out by IAOP certified trainers.
"The students will have the option to choose to specialise in Finance Management or Human Resources - which are the two SSO specialisation currently being offered for the first batch of students under the programme," he said. "This will be followed by the Certified Outsourcing Specialist (COS) IAOP certification examination that is recognised globally."
"On-field training is an important part of the development of a graduate which is why within the programme, we have also included a minimum of 10 weeks to 6 months of internship with a SSO company," said Wong.
Pattabhiraman, chair of the OM Talent Council, said, "The training programme will mutually benefit all parties involved. The universities will be able to offer value added industry relevant course content while the students are able to enhance their skillset and increase their employability rate. At the same time the SSO industry has a solution to the growing talent development issues face in the last few years."
In addition, OM exchanged a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) witnessed by MDeC and TalentCorp. Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) will also be involved in this programme.
"By working at the core of academia, we hope to be able to mould a generation of industry driven talent to fill the gap of employability currently faced by the SSO industry," said OM's Wong, adding that SSO companies were also encouraged to come forward and support by taking part in this programme.
The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP), which has more than 120,000 members and affiliates worldwide, offers certification programmes that are recognised by the global outsourcing industry.
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