Panel session creates awareness on career readiness and 21 st century job skills 

Understanding the struggles to survive in today’s competitive working world, Future Leaders Internship Program (FLIP) organised an interactive panel discussion last week hosted by IBM Malaysia. Since its establishment in 2014, FLIP has been pioneering student internship programmes, as well as Career Ready Programmes and initiatives for students as young as 16 years of age. 
Moderated by Freda Liu, Lead Producer/Presenter at BFM 89.9, the half-day session saw leading educational and industry experts including; Dato’ Thavalingam, Partner at Lee Hishamuddin Allen & Gledhill Advocates & Solicitors; Dr. Ruhaya Hassan, Executive Director (Teachers & School Leaders), Education Performance and Delivery Unit (PADU); Sheela Raghu, Principal of ELC International School; Jazmine Abdullah, Human Resources Director, IBM Malaysia; Datin Rubaiha M Nor, an independent speaker; and Alpa Shah, Founder and Director of FLIP. 

Themed Racing Forward: Are We Nurturing Career Ready Skills and Mindsets in Students?, the panel session explored how to inculcate career readiness among students and empower them to make informed career choices – one of the key aspects being the importance of introducing career readiness to high school students. Among the topics discussed included the employer-employee disconnect, examining what’s missing and how-to future proof the next generation given the ever-changing job landscape and the future of hiring. 

According to Alpa Shah, Founder and Director of FLIP, “The education system has to evolve to be more practical in nature and to incorporate components of experiential learning to enable students to learn and master the 21 st century learning skills. The Economic Intelligence Unit’s recent report highlighted that education systems should provide students with hands-on learning to mirror real-world problems and work opportunities in an interdisciplinary way. These new types of skills cannot be taught in isolation but must instead be suffused throughout the curriculum.” 

Google’s Economic Intelligence Report 2015 notes that there is a disconnect or mismatch between demand-side and the supply-side of skills among graduates. One of the main causes of this disconnect is the lack of career coaching for students. 

“This lack in career direction potentially affects 3.1million youths equivalent to approximately 400,000 SPM students annually. At FLIP, we realise the need to develop career mindedness in students from the grass root level, these activities need to be coherent and carefully planned, integrated into a programme of careers and employability with clear learning outcomes,” shared Alpa. 

In Malaysia, although the national unemployment rate is 3.4 percent, the youth unemployment rate is over three times higher at 10.8 percent. This is also considerably high among ASEAN countries with the lowest youth unemployment rate being in Singapore at 4.6%, followed by Thailand (5.9%), Vietnam (7%), Philippines (7.9%). High population Asian countries such as Indonesia records 15.6%; China records 10.8% and India records 10.5%. 

Citing Singapore as an example, Alpa further shared that Singapore has a national programme, which focuses on holistic development and fosters a culture that supports lifelong learning and is credited with contributing to the country’s low level of unemployment. 

Dr. Ruhaya Hassan, Executive Director (Teachers & School Leaders), Education Performance and Delivery Unit (PADU) shared “The Ministry is currently looking into creating a greater collaboration between parents, teachers, policy makers as well as the corporate sectors. In the Education Blueprint itself, we have incorporated and even begun implementation at the primary and secondary schools to enrich students with skills to make them more ‘employable’. We realise that being knowledgeable and having academic qualifications alone is not enough and students need to be equipped with the right non-academic skill sets to be successful.” 

ELC International School in Sungai Buloh is leading the way by pioneering the introduction of FLIP Career Ready Program as a compulsory subject for their Year 10 students. FLIP has also conducted Career Ready Programmes in public schools with great success in the outcome of the program. 

“Many students have a wide-eyed view or expectation of the working world. To some employers this can come across as a sense of entitlement, but in reality it’s a lack of exposure. This is why the career ready programmes, especially internship programs, provide a ‘reality check’ so that students truly understand what is expected of them as well as where and how they fit in working world.” commented Sheela Raghu, Principal of ELC International School. 


FUTURE LEADERS INTERNSHIP PROGRAM, FLIP develops career solutions and services to empower students between 16- 24 years of age to be career ready and future focused by engaging them with real world scenarios and experiences. 

Our programmes spans the critical years of adolescence, helping young adults develop education plans and life skills, explore college and career possibilities, and understand their own role to achieve success in their chosen career path. 

At FLIP, we believe that these answers are critical and connecting the dots backwards is crucial to begin the journey of a happy and successful career. Our mission is to help every student find their love, interest and passion in Careers. 


Popular posts from this blog

Breast Cancer in Men – it happens

Startups from Cyberview’s Living Lab Accelerator Programme

The Kid From The Big Apple Held its Official Original Soundtrack Launch