YOUTHS from all over the country turned out in droves at theMelaka International Trade Centre (MITC) here to seek suitable employment under the 1Malaysia Training Scheme (SL1M) programme.
There was a carnival-like atmosphere at the job fair here as it not only had booths offering jobs, but also booths offering a variety of food and products to the hopeful applicants who had come with their families to spend the day job hunting.
SL1M secretariat head Norashikin Ismail said 100 companies had set up 110 booths offering a myriad of jobs in the banking, food, publishing, education and the telecommunication sectors.
“This is not an ordinary career fair. It is a one-stop centre.We have a grooming and photo studio booth, resume review clinic, as well as computers and printers for applicants to prepare their curriculum vitae (CV) so that they can apply for a job on the spot,” she said at the SL1M Open Interview Programme (Southern Zone) here, last week.
The programme featured several local personalities such as SonaOne, Joe Flizzow, Altimet and Syamel, as well as programme ambassadors FaizalTahir and Zero Maharaja Lawak Mega who were on hand to entertain and provide motivational talks to inspire graduates.
In order to keep the Merdeka spirit high, guests were also entertained to a live performance of the modern artistic version of ‘Negaraku’ sung by Joe Flizzow, Altimet, SonaOne and Faizal Tahir in conjunction with the Merdeka month.
“We have everything under one roof where fathers can be entertained by artistes on stage, mothers can go shopping including performing prayers at the surau, their siblings can scout for things to eat at the food stalls while jobseekers and graduates go job-hunting.
“We also have the ‘himpunan usahawan Hipster’ to provideachance for those who dislike becoming wage earners to sell clothing, books and food as entrepreneurs.
The two-day 2017 SL1M Open Interview Programme (Southern Zone) held from 7.30am until 6pm on Aug 26 and Aug 27 and offered 15,000 jobs to all job-hunters.
Norashikin also added that beginning Aug 1, companies tendering for large government projects under the Finance Ministry were required to provide training attachments for unemployed graduates under SL1M.
“Before this, large companies were only implementing the SL1M programme voluntarily. We want them to come on board now, so that they can contribute to the society and see how they can help graduates earn a living while being independent, improving their livelihood and economy of their families,” she said.
She said the requirement was the result of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s call to increase the employ ability of graduates.
“It will be a mandatory condition that will be considered, apart from the price and services offered under a tender,”she said.
Since 2011, some 126,000 graduates have secured jobs under the SL1M programme.
SL1M was implemented in June 2011 as a talent market ability programme that assists unemployed graduates to increase their chances of employment by enhancing their soft skills, knowledge and technical capabilities.
The programme, which is under the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) in the Prime Minister’s Department was done in collaboration with government-linked agencies and private corporations.
“We are targeting unemployed graduates from the rural areas or from the low-income families as well as those who are currently employed in a job that does not match with their qualification,” she said.
The SL1M programme in Melaka would be the last in the southern region covering Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Johor this year, and saw a crowd of about 20,000 visitors.
The programme will continue at the west region at Sultan Idris Education University in Tanjung Malim, Perak on Sept 23 and Sept 24.
Norashikin advised graduates seeking jobs to come out of their comfort zones to increase their employability.
“There are those who were offered jobs but declined the offer because they want to be comfortable in their own hometown and were unwilling to migrate to work elsewhere. I would term youths now a days who are seeking for jobs as a ‘strawberry generation’. By that, I mean they want a cushy job with high pay, good boss, less work and unwilling to go the extra mile or work on weekends when required to by the company,” she said.
She also gave examples of fresh graduates who demanded an unreasonably high starting salary of RM5,000 per month.
“This is why it is quite sad when industry players are complaining to us that graduates are rejecting jobs offered to them at the fair,” she said.
On the other hand, Norashikin also urged employers not to take advantage of fresh graduates and offer salaries which commensurate with the duties and responsibilities that the job demands.
Earlier Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron who was present to launch the event, proposed that SL1M set up a special unit tolook for jobs for graduates who were willing to work in the dirty, difficult and dangerous (3D) jobs, provided they were offered decent salaries.
“If this can be done, then we will be able to provide jobs to local graduates who are willing to work in 3D jobs. This will help reduce dependency on foreign labour,” he said.
Idris said the unemployment rate in Melaka remained at 0.7 per cent for the past seven years, emerging as a state with the lowest unemployment rate in the country.
“However, through SL1M, the state government believes it can enhance the employability of local graduates by bettering themselves in terms of their ability, knowledge, skills and experience,” Idris said.
Despite the rainon Saturday morning, eager job-seekers and fresh graduates were still seen scouting for jobs at the SL1M exhibition.
Fresh graduate Hasyimah Jaafar, 20 was among the lucky candidates who received an offer letter to under go training in Melaka via the SL1M programme.
Hasyimah arrived in Melaka from Negri Sembilan at 10.30am on Saturday and began scouting for jobs.
“I am so happy that I was offered a job in the customer service department at Edutex Trading Sdn Bhd,” she said after receiving the offer letter from the company.
“This is a great news for my parents. They need not worry about supporting me financially anymore.
Being the second child out of seven siblings, Hasyimah always wished to lessen the burden of her father who works as a teacher at their hometown in Negri Sembilan.
“My siblings are between 5 and 21 years old and it has been tough on my father to make sure we have sufficient amount of money to spend everyday.
Thanks to this job fair, I can now support for myself and help my family financially,” she said.
It was also a lucky day for Nur Izzati Abu Bakar, 22, where she received an offer letter on her first interview with the my.News.com, as an inventory supervisor, through SL1M.
“I am honestly shocked to have gotten this opportunity on my first try. We came from Seremban at around 12pm and referred to a board displayed to see what were the jobs available.
“Thanks to SL1M, I am able to find the best place to work and pursue my career,” said Nur Izzati with a smile on her face.
She came to know about SL1M through social media before her friends and family encouraged her to give it a try.