UTAR hosts forum on developing future-proof talents

The Faculty of Accountancy and Management (FAM), the Belt and Road Strategic Research Centre (BRSRC) and UTAR Global Economics Society jointly organised “The Labour Market Forum: Building the Future Talents Today” on 13 April 2023 at UTAR Sungai Long Campus. The event was supported by the Ministry of Human Resources, and Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad.

The forum aimed to explore the key issues and opportunities in developing future talent pipeline; provide a platform for knowledge exchange, networking, and sharing of ideas, experiences and best practices for the latest labour market developments, and equip participants with future talent skills in resume and job interview preparation.


From left: Dr Pok, Nazrul Aziz, Prof Faidz and Low

Present at the forum were UTAR Vice President for R&D and Commercialisation Prof Ts Dr Faidz Abd Rahman, TalentCorp Malaysia Vice President for Graduate, Diaspora and Industry Partnership Nazrul Aziz, FAM Dean Dr Pok Wei Fong, Global Economics Society Advisor Low Choon Wei, students and staff.

Prof Faidz welcomed the participants and said, “The world is changing at an unprecedented pace, and the skills that are in demand today may not be in demand tomorrow. Therefore, it is essential that you continue to learn and develop new skills throughout your life. This will not only enhance your job prospects but also enable you to make meaningful contributions to society.”

Low said, “The labour market is dynamic and constantly evolving. It is crucial to stay up to date on the latest trends and developments in the labour market. The forum aims to produce a competent workforce to persevere the changing future job landscape and challenges.”

In the keynote session titled “Building the future talents today”, Nazrul Aziz spoke about the challenges of the talent ecosystem which included the creation of high-skilled jobs, talent mismatch and skills gaps, industry-ready talent and workforce retention. Nazrul also emphasised the importance of progress, equality and inclusivity in addressing these challenges.

He said, “The number of skilled labour grows each year, but the number of skilled jobs does not grow in proportion to the number of skilled workers. The unemployment rate among young workers under the age of 24 is high, but it will fall significantly throughout the mid-career period. Only 39% of the skilled workforce are women despite being the major pool in local universities.” “Our mission is to empower, sustain, and retain local and global talent. It is important to provide the best opportunities for young graduates to thrive, hence the need for all bodies to work together to achieve the desired goals for the progress of the nation. For a country to change, everyone, including governments, institutions and companies, must be involved,” added Nazrul as he shared about industry-academia partnerships.

From left: Prof Cheng, Nursyazwani, Stephen Lai, Nazral and Khairuddin during the forum

The first forum titled “Labour Market Development” featured panellists MDEC Human Resources & Administration Director Nazral Safril Mohammad Sapari, Malaysian Research & Education Foundation CEO Mohd Khairuddin Rais, TalentCorp Malaysia Group Research, Development, and Policy Manager Nursyazwani Zulhaimi and Malaysia-China Greater Bay Area Science-Tech Innovation Alliance Chairman Stephen Lai. The forum, which was moderated by BRSRC Chairperson Prof Dr Cheng Ming Yu, saw the panellists sharing their experiences and the importance of addressing the gap issues in the labour market.

Nursyazwani spoke on how to minimise the gaps in the labour market by understanding the talent market landscape and how to match appropriate skills with the jobs in the market. She said, “We need more information and we need to work closely with the stakeholders such as higher institutions, primary and secondary schools to gather more data to understand the gaps and the latest trends.” Nazral shared about talent readiness in the job market, “It is important to continue to upskill yourself and know your passion in life. Continue to learn as you grow and acquire more soft skills to improve your ability to work with others as it can have a positive influence on your career.” Khairuddin spoke about the challenges faced by employers in recruiting good talent. “Most employers would expect you to implement what you’ve learnt upon starting work as training consumes a lot of time. Some of the challenges faced by employers include having applicants who lack experience; having fewer applicants, and having fierce competition among multinational companies and smaller enterprises.” Meanwhile, Stephen Lai shared his experience in the areas of 21st century talent market challenges and opportunities from a global perspective.

From left: Dr Liew, Julia, Raja and Edmund Teh during the forum

The event continued with the second forum titled “Preparing for Job Application” which featured three panellists, namely MDEC Talent Acquisition Manager Julia Nurmalis Hairudin, Google for Education Country Director Raja Azmi Adam, and TMC Life Sciences Bhd Talent Management & Branding Manager Edmund Teh. The session, moderated by FAM Deputy Dean for R&D and Postgraduate Programmes Dr Liew Ping Xin, provided students and participants with useful tips for the preparation of job applications.

During the session, Julia stated, “Job hunting and the application process can be quite confusing at times.” She advised the audience to discover which career best suits them and then explore their career options accordingly. She also advised them on the importance of keeping resumes short and concise. Edmund Teh highlighted the importance of accuracy in providing personal information as well as having a professional email address. He also recommended surveying the location as well as the job description before the interview or accepting the job offer. Meanwhile, Raja shared some tips on how companies like Google choose the perfect candidate from thousands of applicants through General Cognitive Abilities (GCA), Role Related Knowledge (RRK) and “Googleyness”. He also explained that it was important for the candidate to practice the three “R”s which are Respect for users, Respect for opportunities, and Respect for each other.

Group photos of various booths

Sponsoring the event were Min & Co Chartered Accountant, Hovando Holidays Sdn Bhd, Cryocord Sdn Bhd and Plytec Formwork System Industries Sdn Bhd. Meanwhile, Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad, Hovando Holidays Sdn Bhd, Min & Co. Chartered Accountants and Cryocord Sdn Bhd, PLYTEC Formwork System Industries Sdn Bhd, FLP Realty Sdn Bhd, Pesona Metro Sdn Bhd, Fusionex Corp Sdn Bhd, GOBS Sdn Bhd, Neoh Consultancy, Eureka Healthcare (M) Sdn Bhd and Watson’s Personal Care Stores Sdn Bhd set up booths at the hall.

Students getting to know about the companies

Participating booths at the forum

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