Employers are not looking at your academic qualifications, Rafizi tells graduates

KUALA LUMPUR: Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said academic qualifications such as a diploma or bachelor's degree are not the main reason employers look for when hiring workers.

He said this was based on his experience interviewing thousands of graduates.

By relying too much on academic certificates alone, he said employers face difficulties in matching qualifications with job criteria offered in the market due to the lack of talent and skills required.

"In Malaysia, we are used to the production line, which is talent acquisition. Like when we go to school, we have a single model. If you do your best, you will get a scholarship.

"If you go to university and take an engineering course, you will imagine that in 20 to 30 years time you will become an engineer.

"The case is different now. I once interviewed top-class young graduates five or six years ago. Based on some research that I want to share, especially regarding young talent, most of the time employers hire you not because of your degree.

"A degree only proves that you have a brain. When someone is hired, the employers see the qualities that they can be independent, have their own initiative, and that they are balanced."

Rafizi had earlier attended the International Public Employment Forum (IPEF) 2023 organised by the Social Security Organisation (Socso) at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here today.

Joining Rafizi as panellists in the forum were the Centre for Economic Research and Training and Statistics for Islamic Countries director Zehra Zumrut Selcuk and the Centre for Social Welfare Studies director Professor Datuk Dr Norma Mansor.

Meanwhile, Norma said the issue of talent mismatch in the current job market is closely related to the country's non-innovative economic structure in addition to the lack of high-value job offers.

She added that the government needs to play a role by attracting more investment or high-impact industries so that it can benefit local talent.

"Steps to bring in high-impact companies or industries to Malaysia are very necessary so that our people can be involved in the related economy," she said.

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