June 28, 2019
KUCHING: The majority of fresh graduates in Sarawak are satisfied with seeking jobs in the state instead of venturing abroad, according to findings of a latest employment survey.
The Sarawak Employment Report 2019 showed that 89.4 percent of the graduates want to remain in their home state to look for jobs. This is an increase of 12 percent over the 77.3 percent figure in 2016, when the last survey was carried out.
“This indicates that more Sarawakian graduates have the confidence of finding better work opportunities locally,” the report revealed.
Only 10.6 percent of the graduates prefer to seek work opportunities outside the state. Singapore is the preferred choice (3.3 percent), followed by Peninsular Malaysia (2.7percent), Brunei (2.7 percent), Sabah (1.2 percent) and other countries (0.7 percent).
The survey by SarawakJobs.com conducted over a period of six months beginning 2018 focused on data and information collected from respondents.
On the graduates’ preferred type of sector, 55.5 percent expressed their desire to work in the public sector while 38.3 percent chose the private sector.
The survey findings revealed that there is a contrasting preference based on ethnicity.
For example, 63 percent of non-Malay Bumiputera graduates and 65 percent Malay graduates prefer to find jobs in the public sector at federal and state levels.
On the other hand, 62 percent of Chinese graduates say they would seek jobs in the private sector.
The survey findings noted that competition is much higher when it comes to landing government jobs compared to securing jobs in the private sector.
“In order to gain real work experience early upon graduation, Sarawakian graduates may need to be more realistic and find work opportunities in various sectors,” SarawakJobs.com said.
On the importance of education, nine out of 10 graduates feel that education is a fundamental necessity in gaining employment with 45 percent agreeing that education provides confidence and knowledge to face anything in life.
Forty-four percent feel that education provides the necessary skills and knowledge required to gain employment easily, while only 11 percent feel otherwise.
With Gen Z (born after 1994) entering the workforce as soon as 2020, SarawakJobs.com asked graduates on their opinion of the employer’s hiring criteria.
Sixty percent believe that employers hire based on personality while 48 percent say the level of education is crucial.
Others highlighted the importance of communication skills (26 percent), Bahasa proficiency (25 percent), internship experience and English proficiency (24 percent). Only two percent felt the reputation of the school counts.
So what do employers go for when they hire people?
Here are some useful facts in getting hired successfully, especially for first-time job seekers.
Employers look at the personality (positivity, good attitude, etc) of the applicant, with 75 percent of them confirming that is the most desirable intrinsic quality which they look for in a graduate.
Other important factors are communication skills (44 percent), education level (41 percent), English proficiency (39 percent), field of study (22 percent), academic results (17 percent), Mandarin proficiency (14 percent), internship experience (13 percent), volunteering experiences (nine percent), competency-IT skills (seven percent), curricular activities (six percent), Bahasa Malaysia proficiency (four percent) and reputation of educational institution (one percent)
Looking at the qualities sought by employers, communication skills, education level and English proficiency play important roles while Bahasa Malaysia proficiency and reputation of the educational institution are the least on the employers’ mind.
On the salary range which employers are prepared to offer to fresh graduates holding diploma and degree qualifications, 63 percent said they may offer diploma holders between RM1,001 and RM1,500.
Forty-three percent say they may offer degree holders in the range of RM1,501 to RM2,000 while 10 percent say they may consider offering RM2,501 onwards .