The country’s biggest trade union movement and a leading education group today inked a first of its kind collaboration to provide free training and employment support services as well as counselling for those displaced by the economic downturn due to Covid-19.
The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) and SEGi Group of Colleges (SGC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide soft or technical skills training, professional certifications and counselling services for those displaced and fresh job seekers.
The collaboration of MTUC and SEGi’s comes at a time when nearly 800,000 workers were reported to have lost their jobs in the first four months of the year as the government imposed a Movement Control Order (MCO) to stem the spread of the deadly Covid-19 virus.
As a result, many businesses were shuttered, forcing widespread retrenchment across the country. Many workers were also forced to take deep pay cuts or go on unpaid leave. Despite the gradual reopening of the economy, unemployment and the lack of job opportunities remain a top concern in Malaysia. Apart from those who were laid off, thousands of fresh graduates have also entered Malaysia’s shrinking job market.
This MoU will enable MTUC to shortlist and refer affected individuals to obtain soft or technical skills training, professional certifications or counselling services with SGC, based on their needs. Those with college-going children can also explore possible flexi-education opportunities for their children at SGC.
It also provided workers with access to flexible upskilling programmes and wider employment opportunities through SEGi’s network. SGC, on the other hand, will identify suitable skills enhancement programmes that range from soft skills training to short professional certifications to increase talents’ employability and marketability.
Potential talents referred by MTUC can also deposit their resumes into an internal resume bank to be shared across SEGi’s vast network which includes their Valued Corporate Partners and alumni members in key sectors of the economy.
“This is an excellent CSR opportunity for SEGi as it gives us a chance to create alternative solutions for those in need. Our affiliation with MTUC comes at a crucial hour when many Malaysians are feeling the pinch of unemployment,” said Dato’ Seri Dr. Mohamed Azahari Kamil, Director, SEG International Bhd.
He emphasised that SEGi was the first Malaysian higher learning institution to go beyond academic borders to partner with the trades union and offer skills training and upskilling programme for adults.
“As a tertiary institution, SEGi works with corporate partners who represent various industries. Our Subang Jaya campus alone has signed up with 25 new Valued Corporate Partners recently and had placed over 200 students for internships, part-time work and graduate placements despite challenging times. We also have alumni members who graduated years ago and are currently operating businesses or sit in high-ranking positions. We can match and forward potential profiles and create suitable employment opportunities for those affected through our network,” said Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azahari.
“When we were first hit by Covid-19, SGC had created a Crossover Programme to provide career development assistance and job placement support. CROSS stands for Career Assessment, Resume Writing, Online Presence Selling Yourself, and Skills Enhancement. Talents who sign up are provided with skills training, placement training and post-placement training with the help of potential employers. In a way, we help employers save on recruitment and training cost and find the right talent for their organisation,” he explained.
He also expressed hope that SGC’s affiliation with MTUC can inspire others to follow suit and complement the #kitajagakita culture where Malaysians lookout for and lift each other.
Meanwhile, MTUC President Datuk Abdul Halim Mansor said such collaborations can provide sustainable solutions to unemployment woes faced by workers, especially in today’s unprecedented times.
“MTUC represents 15 million workers and as the national labour centre, we receive daily reports of workers being retrenched, some unfairly, or forced to take massive pay cuts that are unsustainable for them and their families to live on.”
“As such, this MOU will provide the framework for displaced workers and also the first time job hunters to upskill themselves to land jobs that are out there. With both SEGi and MTUC networking, we are confident those who sign up for the programmes will have a better shot in turning their lives around,” Datuk Abdul Halim said.
The MoU was signed by Datuk Abdul Halim and Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azahari and was witnessed by MTUC Secretary-General J. Solomon and SEGi Holdings Sdn Bhd Executive Director Dr. Lisa Tan.
Watch the video for the snippets of the event.